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FuelCell Energy Announces European Market Developments18.05.2012 - (idw) Fraunhofer-Institut für Keramische Technologien und Systeme IKTS
FuelCell Energy Solutions, GmbH Acquires Select Assets from MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH - European Joint Venture with Fraunhofer IKTS to be Finalized by June 30, 2012
FuelCell Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) a leading manufacturer of ultra-clean, efficient and reliable fuel cell power plants, today announced that its German subsidiary, FuelCell Energy Solutions GmbH, is acquiring select assets from MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH, a subsidiary of Tognum AG. The select assets include fuel cell component inventory and fuel cell manufacturing equipment of the former MTU Onsite Energy GmbH Fuel Cell Systems in Ottobrunn, Germany, which was merged with MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH. Parties to the agreement include FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCE), FuelCell Energy Solutions GmbH (FCES), MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH (MTU), and Fraunhofer IKTS (Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems). Under the agreement, MTU will contribute fuel cell related intellectual property to Fraunhofer IKTS. Fraunhofer IKTS will become a minority owner in FuelCell Energy Solutions by June 30, 2012. FuelCell Energy Solutions, a German company, will develop the market for stationary fuel cell power plants in Europe for commercial, industrial, and utility scale applications.
Leveraging the technology strength of Fraunhofer and the commercial strength and experience of FuelCell Energy, Fuel- Cell Energy Solutions now has a clear path for market development and local manufacturing that will drive job creation in Europe, said Prof. Dr. Alexander Michaelis, director, Fraunhofer IKTS. We are eager to apply our R&D capabilities to the Direct FuelCell technology and work with European governments and industry to support the adoption of stationary fuel cell power plants that help adress the power generation challenges facing certain regions of Europe.
This effort is a crucial part of FuelCell Energys previously announced global growth strategy, leveraging prior relationships with MTU as well as an expanding relationship with Fraunhofer IKTS, said Chip Bottone, President and Chief Executive Officer for FuelCell Energy, Inc. The agreement with MTU provides assets that will accelerate market development while optimizing current and future capital needs from FuelCell Energy so future investment will be predicated on order flow and a growing installed base. Mr. Bottone continued, This agreement and the ramp-up of FCES will enable cost effective large scale fuel cell technology to become available today, for commercial applications throughout Europe. We are building on the strength and leadership shown by the vision of the German government, and bringing the experience which comes from over 180 megawatts of commercial installations and order backlog worldwide.
The scope of FCES will include the continuation of research to further enhance carbonate fuel cell technology, combining the strength of FCEs Direct FuelCell power plants and the carbonate Euro- Cell technology of MTU, which will be licensed into FCES by Fraunhofer IKTS. Local manufacturing capacity will be established at a facility formerly leased by MTU in Ottobrunn, Germany, thus keeping advanced technology fuel cell power plant manufacturing in Germany.
In addition, FCE will execute its business activities for the larger European Served Area from the FCES base of operations in Dresden and Ottobrunn, utilizing locally hired sales, service, engineering, and manufacturing personnel. It is anticipated that FuelCell Energy Solutions will enter into service agreements with existing MTU fuel cell customers.
Fraunhofer IKTS will contribute certain assets to the joint venture including the use of intellectual property as well as their expertise and extensive research and development capabilities with fuel cells and materials science. FuelCell Energy Solutions, GmbH is consolidated in the financial statements of FuelCell Energy, Inc. MTU and FuelCell Energy have previously maintained various license agreements relating to fuel cell technology, including a two-way license related to balance of plant technology, and a license from FCE to MTU related to core fuel cell technology.
MTU developed and sold stationary fuel cell power plants in Europe utilizing Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) carbonate technology and DFC components manufac- tured by FuelCell Energy at its plant in Torrington, Connecticut, USA. MTU assembled and stacked the DFC components and added the mechanical and electrical balance of plant. The agreements expired at the end of 2009.
DFC power plants cost effectively provide on-site power and support to the electric grid. The levelized cost of electricity for DFC plants is competitive with the electric grid in regions with high power costs such as urban centers in Europe, coastal cities in the USA and certain Asian countries. Increasing sales volume will continue to result in lower power generation costs for DFC plants. Examples of grid support applications include two fuel cell parks operating in Asia that each are in excess of 10 megawatts as well as DFC plants in the USA owned by utilities and located on the property of the end power user.
Fuel cells electrochemically convert a fuel source into electricity and heat in a highly efficient process that emits virtually no pollutants due to the absence of combustion. DFC power plants are fuel flexible, capable of operating on natural gas or renewable biogas. Efficiency of up to 90 percent can be achieved when the DFC plant is configured for combined heat and power (CHP) applications. High efficiency reduces fuel costs and carbon emissions and producing both electricity and heat from the same unit of fuel can reduce the use of combustion based boilers used for heating, further reducing costs and pollutants.
About FuelCell Energy
Direct FuelCell® power plants are generating ultra-clean, efficient and reliable power at more than 50 locations worldwide. With over 180 megawatts of power generation capacity installed or in backlog, FuelCell Energy is a global leader in providing ultra-clean baseload distributed generation to utilities, industrial operations, universities, municipal water treatment facilities, government installations and other customers around the world. The Companys power plants have generated more than one billion kilowatt hours of ultra-clean power using a variety of fuels including renewable biogas from wastewater treatment and food processing, as well as clean natural gas. For more information please visit our website at www.fuelcellenergy.com
This news release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the Companys plans and expectations regarding the continuing development, commercialization and financing of its fuel cell technology and business plans. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that could cause such a difference include, without limitation, general risks associated with product development, manufacturing, changes in the regulatory environment, customer strategies, potential volatility of energy prices, rapid technological change, competition, and the Companys ability to achieve its sales plans and cost reduction targets, as well as other risks set forth in the Companys filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statement to reflect any change in the Companys expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based. Direct FuelCell, DFC, DFC/T, DFC-H2 and Fuel- Cell Energy, Inc. are all registered trademarks of FuelCell Energy, Inc. DFC-ERG is a registered trademark jointly owned by Enbridge, Inc. and FuelCell Energy, Inc.
Dr. Christian Wunderlich
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