Anglo American Platinum investing in development of clean power generator to enable electrification of rural communities
VANCOUVER, Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP)(TSX: BLD) has announced successful completion of the first phase of work, and significant progress on the second phase, with Anglo American Platinum Limited (Anglo American Platinum; www.angloplatinum.com) under a Product Development Agreement related to fuel cell-powered electric generators for the African rural home market. Under the agreement, Anglo American Platinum has committed to fund development and testing of the planned home generator product, which will be capable of providing primary power to homes in remote African communities that are without access to the electrical grid. Work to date has included a market feasibility study, testing of a proof-of-concept system based on existing technology from Ballard and Dantherm Power, Ballard's backup power company, and initial work on a prototype system. Andrew Hinkly, Executive Head - Commercial for Anglo American Platinum said, "This is a key initiative, as part of our commitment to beneficiation in South Africa. It will create jobs, deliver clean energy to parts of Africa that go without power today, and of course promote a product that uses platinum. So, we are delighted to be working with a fuel cell market leader in Ballard." 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. The home generator will run on readily available methanol fuel, utilizing an integrated fuel reformer. Ballard is providing fuel reformer and fuel cell stack technology and Dantherm Power will provide the remaining system components needed for the finished product.