UniPro Foodservice Inc. is using portable liquid fuel cell provider Oorja Protonics Inc. to power its material handling equipment.

UniPro selects Oorja for fuel cells power providerThe Fremont, Calif.-based Oorja is now an “approved service provider” for the Atlanta-based UniPro, one of the largest U.S. foodservice distribution cooperatives.

Oorja provides the cells that power distribution center material handling equipment and was selected for its fuel cell-based on-board battery chargers used in the equipment, according to a news release.

Fuel cells help foodservice distribution companies by extending batteries’ runtime, according to the release.

That extended time eliminates the need for battery change-outs, for additional batteries and chargers and for battery charging from the grid and should help UniPro members be more productive, according to the release.

“We are very enthusiastic about this partnership and feel privileged that UniPro has chosen us an approved service provider for its members,” Sanjiv Malhotra, Oorja’s chief executive officer, said in the release. “We are confident that the multiple benefits offered by our unique product would not only help UniPro’s members achieve productivity and sustainability goals but also realize rapid pay-back on their investments through cost savings.”

UniPro’s 650 member companies represent a variety of the foodservice industry, including independent and multi-unit restaurants, medical facilities, schools, military feeding and other institutional feeding operations.