As part of the preparation toward full-fledged dissemination of fuel cell vehicles in 2015, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) announced that it has revised the General High Pressure Gas Safety Ordinance and other ordinances under the High Pressure Gas Safety Act. These revisions are expected to promote the development of hydrogen filling stations, including smoother installation of compressed hydrogen filling stations to existing compressed natural gas filling stations.

Key points of revision:

  • Relaxing the regulations concerning the distance between a compressed hydrogen filling station and a compressed natural gas filling station when installing them at the same site. In order to facilitate the installation of hydrogen filling stations to existing compressed natural gas filling stations the regulations were revised to allow such businesses to shorten the distance as long as the businesses provide alternative measures to prevent such facilities from having an impact on each other, including building barrier walls.
  • Expanding the scope of steel types allowed to be used as a material of compressed hydrogen filling stations. The Standards Relevant to the General Ordinance and the Standards Relevant to the Industrial Ordinance were revised to additionally cover new copper materials, namely, C3604 and C3771, which are materials scheduled to be used for valves and piping of such stations, on the premise that the scope of pressures and temperatures of the materials when they use them is clearly indicated. In addition, the ordinances were also revised to expand the scope of pressures and temperatures* applied to stainless steels, namely, SUS316 and SUS316L, which are already allowed to be used for compressed hydrogen filling stations.