Methanex Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsui & Co.Ltd. have entered into a Strategic Alliance. The overall goal of the Strategic Alliance is to promote the merits of methanol in Japan as the fuel of choice for fuel cell vehicle applications.

The parties will work with governmental and non-governmental agencies to address any potential regulatory hurdles and encourage the initiation of methanol-based fuel cell vehicle demonstration programs to enhance public awareness of this clean, strategically important fuel. The parties will also work with the Japanese automotive industry to ensure a common fuel specification and provide assurance that methanol of a suitable quality and quantity will be available at retail stations. In addition, the parties will cooperate with potential Japanese methanol retailers in order to plan for commercialization, and to work towards cost effective retail introduction of methanol fuel in Japan.

Pierre Choquette, President and CEO of Methanex commented, "As one of the leading nations in the use of environmentally friendly technologies, Japan may well be one of the first locations to widely introduce automotive fuel cell applications. We believe that methanol is particularly well suited for the Japanese market and that our cooperation with strong partners such as Mitsubishi and Mitsui will facilitate the commercialization of this environmentally friendly technology."

Yasuo Sone, Managing Director CEO Chemicals of Mitsubishi Corporation commented, "We are very keen on the environmental issue and have obtained ISO 14001 certification in 1998. We are much interested in promoting methanol fuel cell vehicles here in Japan from the viewpoint of environment. We believe that this alliance with Methanex and Mitsui will convince the Japanese of the environmental benefit brought by methanol fuel cell vehicles and hope such vehicles will be introduced into the Japanese market first in the world."

Toshihiko Sasahira, Director COO of Petrochemicals & Polymers Group of Mitsui commented, "We are delighted to take our step forward, in trying to promote methanol as the fuel of choice for fuel cell vehicles. We believe that the long and world-wide relationship we have enjoyed with Methanex and Mitsubishi, and the existing know-how we have developed over past twenty years in import and distribution of methanol for chemical use, may contribute to the smooth introduction of this technology for cleaner air."

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