One of the largest fuel cell companies in the world has commissioned its initial manufacturing facility.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – “The capacity of this facility will allow us to meet the requirements of our customers as we introduce initial commercial products in each of our target markets starting in 2001,” says Eamonn Percy of Ballard Power Systems. “We have put in place the building, the people, the processes and the manufacturing infrastructure.” The plant is a 9,900 m2 (110,000 ft2) facility next to Ballard’s corporate headquarters in Burnaby, a suburb of Vancouver. The building was officially opened by Prime Minister Jean Chretien in October, and equipment has been installed for volume manufacturing of fuel cells. The facility is currently meeting Ballard’s immediate production requirements for fuel cells for portable power and automotive applications. Ballard is involved in the development and production of zero-emission proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells that have strong potential in transportation, electricity generation and portable power products. The proprietary technology allows automobile, electrical equipment and portable power product manufacturers to develop environmentally clean products. The Ballard fuel cell combines hydrogen (obtained from methanol, natural gas, petroleum or renewable energy sources) and oxygen without combustion to generate electricity. The company has partnered with companies such as DaimlerChrysler, Ford, GPU International, ALSTOM and EBARA, to commercialize the fuel cells. Ballard has also supplied fuel cells to Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen, Yamaha, Cinergy, Coleman Powermate and Matsushita Electric Works, among others.