AFC Energy Plc (AFC), the industrial fuel cell power company, is pleased to announce with immediate effect the new phase of the Company's partnership with Industrie De Nora S.p.A. ("De Nora").
- AFC Energy and De Nora expand Joint Development Agreement ("JDA") collaboration into Phase 2 following successful Phase 1 completion
- As part of Phase 2, AFC Energy and De Nora expect to finalise the design of a commercial fuel cell electrode and stack during the current year for commercial application which is capable of mass automated production with warranted performance metrics
- AFC Energy and De Nora expect to commence dialogue on terms for a long-term electrode supply agreement building on De Nora's proven and qualified know how in the automation of manufacturing processes
- Demonstration of the new upscaled and enhanced fuel cell system is planned at AFC Energy's Stade industrial scale fuel cell plant in Germany in the second half of 2017
The JDA executed between AFC Energy and De Nora in August 2016 was undertaken with the principle aim of targeting technological advancements to AFC Energy's fuel cell system and to further accelerate commercialisation of AFC Energy's technology platform.
The intense first phase work programme agreed between the two companies in August 2016 has now been successfully completed. The joint decision to proceed into Phase 2 of the JDA is based upon demonstrable evidence compiled by the companies across three discreet fields:
1. Joint technology development which empirically showed significant enhancement in longevity and efficiency of the fuel cell system without the loss of power output;
2. Identification of achievable cost targets for the commercial fuel cell product, in the near term, capable of deployment in key target markets; and
3. A fast growing pipeline of opportunities addressable by the enhanced fuel cell system supporting the objective market size assessment for AFC Energy's fuel cell product.
The parties agreed on 19 April 2017 to commence the next phase of the JDA and to commit further resources and funding in support of the synchronized efforts of both companies to further improve the overall performance and economics delivered by the AFC Energy fuel cell system. Stage 2 of the JDA will now focus on the integration of the best performing electrodes from Phase 1 within the enhanced fuel cell stack to derive a frozen baseline technology platform capable of warranted mass production which in turn will be validated at AFC Energy's industrial facility in Stade, Germany in the second half of 2017. The validation will include the metrics associated with power output, longevity, efficiency and availability.
De Nora's track record in industrial electro-chemistry application, capacity for manufacture and the commitment to deliver warranted electrodes in terms of performance parameters and target cost places AFC Energy's fuel cell systems at a distinct advantage with its commercial project partners, providing targeted industries with the necessary confidence to proceed in adopting the technology.
The partnership with De Nora will allow AFC Energy to set its cost structure (modelled to result in a cost per kWh competitive amongst several of today's conventional and renewable energy generation technologies) by leveraging De Nora's manufacturing, supply chains and procurement strength.
Luca Buonerba, De Nora's Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer said, "AFC Energy is the market leader in alkaline fuel cells. The synergies between our two organisations are clear as it is evident in the market growth and demand for fuel cells. We are pleased to move to the next phase of the JDA. This provides De Nora market access to a technology complementary to our own and aligns strategically the two organisations."
Adam Bond, AFC's Chief Executive Officer, AFC Energy said, "I am delighted to announce the continuation and indeed expansion of our strategic collaboration with De Nora. We have been most impressed at the quality and capability of De Nora since first meeting the organisation in 2016 and since then, our two organisations have worked tirelessly in progressing the Company's fuel cell platform. De Nora's manufacturing know how, scale up capability and ability to warrant electrode performance further validates AFC Energy's product offering and potential global reach."