Ballard Power Systems confirms that a range of Engineering Services programs currently underway are expected to generate significant value for the Company and its shareholders.
VANCOUVER, CANADA – Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP)(TSX: BLD) confirms that a range of Engineering Services programs currently underway are expected to generate significant value for the Company and its shareholders. Customers are leveraging Ballard's competencies in fuel cell design optimization to address their most pressing fuel cell product challenges and these profitable Engineering Services collaborations offer the potential to deliver new fuel cell products for emerging market applications.
Volkswagen AG Fuel Cell Automotive Research
Ballard's Director of Product Engineering, Sabina Russell, is steering delivery of a C$60-100 million 4-year Engineering Services contract (with an optional 2-year extension) to advance Volkswagen AG's fuel cell automotive research program.
Under Ms. Russell's guidance, skilled teams are working to support the current fleet of Volkswagen HyMotion demonstration cars, while also designing next-generation fuel cell technology for this leading automotive OEM. Ballard engineers are focused on the critical areas of fuel cell product design – including the membrane electrode assembly, plate and stack components – along with testing and system integration work.
Intellectual property (IP) generated under the contract will belong to Volkswagen, although Ballard will have a royalty-free license for use of that IP in non-automotive applications and in buses. Overall, the program provides a tremendous strategic opportunity for Ballard, enabling product development in both automotive as well as non-automotive sectors.
Continuous Power System
Ballard's Director of Fuel Cell Systems, Kathy Schwiebert, is leading Engineering Services work to develop a low cost continuous power system designed to initially provide electricity to the more than 3-million rural households in South Africa that are ‘off-grid'. Through continued support from Anglo American Platinum and an announcement of funding from the South African Government, this work on a ‘Home Generator' is proceeding on-track, with trial deployments planned for 2014.
Development of a low cost methanol fuel reformer and long life fuel cell stack for use in the Home Generator fall within the scope of this work activity. These attributes also offer the potential to –
• reduce the cost of Ballard's ElectraGen™-ME methanol-fueled Telecom Backup Power systems, which are commercially available today; and
• offer a ‘continuous power' alternative for use at off-grid telecom network sites.
Other Emerging Markets
Engineering Services are also providing Ballard with a fully funded means of exploring other emerging market opportunities, with the potential for significant long term impact. Dr. Kevin Colbow, Ballard's Director of Product Management, is leading Engineering Services work activities in a number of other emerging market areas, including diverse contracts in the aerospace and railway industries, along with military applications.
Under Dr. Colbow's leadership, Engineering Services contracts with lead customers are supporting fuel cell development work from initial feasibility study through to component design, infrastructure testing, reference system development and prototype field trials.
Over the past several years, Ballard has broadened Engineering Services activities in order to leverage the Company's expertise in fuel cell design, prototyping, manufacturing and servicing. Momentum has been substantial, with growing demand from customers that are intent on accelerating fuel cell development efforts. Engineering Services work can enable product development activity, enhancing the Company's positioning for broader value creation in development stage markets.
About Ballard Power Systems
Ballard Power Systems (TSX: BLD) (NASDAQ: BLDP) 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.