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Product acceptance delay for IdaTech units in Indian contract

US-based IdaTech has reported a delay in the product acceptance testing of the natural gas fueled backup power system it is developing for the ACME Group in India. These units – featuring PEM fuel cell stacks supplied by Canadian-based Ballard – are intended for backup power for telecoms base stations.

Last October Ballard Power Systems entered into the development and supply agreement with IdaTech and ACME for hydrogen and natural gas-based backup power units. The primary role in the contract for Ballard is to develop a low-cost, liquid-cooled fuel cell stack, and to manufacture stacks for IdaTech to integrate into units to be deployed by ACME. IdaTech is mainly focused on developing the system, including the fuel processor and balance-of-plant.

Committed purchase volumes in the agreement are subject to meeting product acceptance testing (PAT) timelines. While the PAT was successfully met for the hydrogen system in July, IdaTech has now indicated that the PAT for the natural gas system, scheduled for October 16, will likely be missed. The agreement provides for an extension of the PAT deadline for up to six months if IdaTech files an acceptable remediation plan by November 16, with committed volumes to be reduced in line with the length of the delay.

‘We are certainly disappointed with this development, and the implications on our 2010 product volumes,’ says John Sheridan, president/CEO of Ballard. ‘However, we are pleased with our progress on the development of the new FCgen™-1300 low-cost, liquid-cooled stack.’

Sheridan continues: ‘Market feedback has confirmed the substantial Indian telecom market opportunity, and we remain committed to this market. Together with our partners, we are well positioned to pursue opportunities for our fuel cell stacks in natural gas-based systems, as well as significant opportunities for methanol and hydrogen-based systems.’

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