Weichai Power buys into nascent global solid fuel cell market
Weichai Power, the subsidiary of Weichai Group, has signed a strategic agreement with the United Kingdom's solid oxide fuel cell supplier Ceres Power — to strengthen its position in the new energy power supply industry.
The move means Weichai Power is breaking into the cutting-edge solid oxide fuel cell, or SOFC market, and is a major step in the company's efforts to adopt new power sources.
Weichai agreed on May 16 to buy a 20 percent stake in Ceres Power for ￡40 million ($53.26 million). It will also establish a joint venture with Ceres Power before 2020 in Weifang.
Initial plans are for the parties to work together to develop a 30 kilowatt Steel-Cell SOFC fuel cell range extender system for the Chinese market in early 2019, utilizing compressed natural gas technology.
The joint venture will be the only authorized company in China to use the Steel-Cell technology, which is a low-cost SOFC technology developed by Ceres Power.
According to Ceres Power, its unique patented Steel-Cell technology generates power from widely available fuels at high efficiency and is manufactured using standard processing equipment and conventional materials such as steel, meaning that it can be mass produced at an affordable price for domestic and business use.