BASF to realign fuel cell MEA business in New Jersey, close Frankfurt facility

BASF is realigning its business for the fuel cell market, by concentrating its competencies for the production of high-temperature membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs) at the BASF Fuel Cell Inc facility in Somerset, New Jersey, USA. Operational activities at the BASF Fuel Cell GmbH site in Frankfurt, Germany will be discontinued effective December 31, 2009. BASF plans to close the Frankfurt site in the course of 2010.

At the Somerset site, BASF Fuel Cell produces both high-temperature MEAs and important pre-products such as electrodes. Thus, Somerset is the only BASF Fuel Cell site that covers the entire production process for MEAs.

‘In addition to integrated production, the Somerset site offers us the advantage of being closer to our customers and to key future markets, such as fuel cells for residential combined heat and power systems,’ says Stefano Pigozzi, head of BASF’s Inorganics division, to which BASF Fuel Cell belongs. ‘We are strengthening our overall competitiveness by concentrating the competencies of the two sites.’

The restructuring will result in the loss of 43 positions at BASF Fuel Cell GmbH in Frankfurt. ‘We will work closely with the employee representatives to find socially responsible solutions for the employees,’ says Dr Horst-Tore Land, CEO of BASF Fuel Cell GmbH in Frankfurt.

In addition to the activities in Frankfurt and Somerset, BASF Fuel Cell has operated a laboratory in Yokkaichi, Japan since May 2008. This laboratory is responsible for application-specific support for local customers.

BASF markets MEAs under the brand name Celtec®, supporting the fuel cell industry in meeting the current and growing challenges of future energy supply. Celtec high-temperature MEAs are used in numerous product applications, from residential combined heat and power (CHP) units to backup power systems to ensure the supply of electricity in the event of a power failure.


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