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March 21, 2001
Osaka Gas Co., Ltd.
Osaka Gas has decided to transfer its fuel processing technologies for residential-use polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC) to H Power in the United States. Through Mitsui & Co., Ltd., the technologies of fuel processor developed by Osaka Gas will be transferred to the company, a leading manufacturer of PEFC, on a non-exclusive basis. The contract will be concluded on April 1 of this year and the transfer will begin on the same day.
Osaka Gas has been engaged in the development of high-efficiency and economical fuel processors for application on 1 kW and 500 W PEFC for residential use. The fuel processor developed by the company has already achieved the target performance in thermal efficiency. Osaka Gas has also cleared hurdles for the production cost of the fuel processor whose price range should be below \50,000 at mass-production levels.
H Power is a leading developer and manufacturer of cell stacks and systems for PEFC. It is the only marketer of PEFCs on the commercial basis in the world. While developing 3 - 5 kW PEFC systems for US households, the company has been studying the technology of small fuel processors as it aims to enter the Japanese residential market.
Osaka Gas, after evaluation of the PEFC stacks of H Power, which have good market records, reached the conclusion that they would be highly effective for application on 500 W systems. By transferring Osaka Gas' technologies on fuel processors to H Power, it is believed that commercialization of PEFC will be accelerated.
As part of its work prior to commercialization of PEFC, Osaka Gas plans to install at residential houses by the end of this year several units of 500 W systems to be manufactured by H Power for the Japanese market for testing purposes. With the utilization of the fuel processors developed by Osaka Gas, H Power expects to market the PEFC system at a price level less than US$50,000, bringing into perspective of marketing the system at the target price of \600,000 on the mass production basis. H Power plans to commercialize the PEFC system around 2003.