Australian-based Ceramic Fuel Cells has received a regional development grant of €1.386 million from the NRW regional government. The funding requires Ceramic Fuel Cells to meet certain requirements as to expenditure on construction of the fuel cell manufacturing plant and the creation of jobs. The company has already met the requirement regarding the expenditure on the plant, and expects to employ more people at the plant to meet increasing demand.
Ceramic Fuel Cells has also entered a financing lease with German banking group Commerzbank, over some of the equipment at the Heinsberg plant. Under this arrangement, CFCL has received net funding of €1 528 849.
The total net funds to be received by Ceramic Fuel Cells under both arrangements is €2 914 849.
The volume manufacturing plant has a design capacity of 10 000 solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC)) stacks per annum, using state-of-the-art automated manufacturing equipment. All pieces of equipment have been commissioned on-site, and are operational.
Speaking at the official plant opening in October, Dr Jens Baganz, State Secretary for the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, said: ‘Fuel cells with high efficiency are a key technology of the future, with significant economic potential. In Oberbruch it is now possible that a future industry can be developed. Given the global challenges of climate change, there are very promising market opportunities for fuel cell technology.’
Ceramic Fuel Cells is a leading developer of solid oxide fuel cell technology to provide highly efficient and low-emissions electricity from widely available natural gas. The company is developing SOFC micro combined heat and power (mCHP) and distributed generation units that generate electricity and heat for homes and other buildings.
CFCL is developing products with leading appliance partners and utility customers in Germany, France, the UK, and Japan. In May the company launched its BlueGen modular generator product. CFCL is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and has operations in the UK and Germany.