Ballard Power Systems: Support by South African Government
VANCOUVER - Ballard Power Systems announced that, with a commitment of investment funding to support field trials, the South African Government has reinforced its support of growth in that country's fuel cell industry. Godfrey Oliphant, South Africa's Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources, made the announcement during his presentation to attendees of the "Hydrogen + Fuel Cells 2013 International Conference and Exhibition" (www.hfc2013.com) in Vancouver.
As part of its beneficiation strategy and the drive to improve on the uses of platinum, the South African Government, through its funding institutions, will partner with Ballard Power Systems and Anglo American Platinum with initial field trials of a new methanol-fuelled 'home generator' prototype product designed for use in off-grid residential applications. The product encompasses a complete fuel cell system, including fuel cell stack, methanol fuel processor and other components needed to meet the market requirements of rural electrification within a local mini-grid. The home generator product is being developed as a means of addressing the many African households in rural communities that are currently unable to economically access the grid as a result of distance or terrain.
Godfrey Oliphant, South Africa's Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources said, "We are very pleased to support the field trials of the home generator product being developed by Anglo American Platinum and Ballard Power Systems. Projects such as this are key in the development of new technologies which will stimulate the creation of jobs for the South African economy."
Platinum-based fuel cells provide a significant economic and environmental development opportunity for South Africa by facilitating the provision of clean, reliable and cost-effective power. South Africa holds 75% of the world's supply of platinum, a key component of Ballard's proton exchange membrane fuel cell products.
"Anglo's involvement in fuel cell market adoption extends beyond the implications for platinum utilization to the potential transformational impact fuel cells could have on the economy in South Africa," said Andrew Hinkly, Anglo American Platinum's Executive Head of Marketing. "Fuel cell-based product deployments enable the platinum beneficiation strategy in Africa and create jobs in a key growth sector for the economy."
Karim Kassam, Vice President, Business & Corporate Development added, "We are excited by the progress under our joint development agreement with Anglo American Platinum. Work to date has included a market feasibility study, testing of a proof-of-concept system based on existing technology and initial work on a prototype system."
Systems deployed in initial field trials during 2014 will provide valuable data to support further development of the prototype systems. Upon successful completion of the product development phase, plans are to proceed to a pilot test of more than two hundred units in villages across rural South Africa in 2015.
About Ballard Power Systems
Ballard Power Systems (BLDP)(BLD.TO) provides clean energy fuel cell products enabling optimized power systems for a range of applications. Products deliver incomparable performance, durability and versatility. To learn more about Ballard, please visit www.ballard.com.
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