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Fuel Cells/Business 060710
 (July 2006) Plug Power shareholders approve  a $217 Million Investment,  a 35 percent stake in the company, from  Interros and Norilsk Nickel of Russia on June 29, 2006. The  Interros is  a major Russian investment firm and Norilsk Nickel is  the world's largest producer of nickel and palladium. The investment is being made through Smart Hydrogen, a joint venture of the principal Interros investors and Norilsk Nickel, which was formed to participate in the global hydrogen economy.

"We are extremely pleased to officially begin our relationship with Interros and Norilsk Nickel," said Dr. Roger Saillant, chief executive officer and president of Plug Power. "We now have approximately $285 million in cash and marketable securities, increased access to the Russian market and a wealth of technical expertise from our new partners. Together with our already strong market position and product line, the outlook for Plug Power has never been better."

Plug Power has received cash of approximately $217 million in exchange for shares of Class B Capital Stock that are convertible into 39.5 million shares of common stock. The purchase price per share of common stock in the transaction, on an as-converted basis, is $5.50. In December 2005, the investors purchased approximately 2.7 million shares of Plug Power common stock from General Electric. Concurrent with the closing of the new investment, the investors purchased 1.825 million shares of Plug Power common stock from DTE Energy Foundation. In aggregate, the investors now hold approximately 35 percent of Plug Power's outstanding common stock on an as- converted basis.

The parties intend to explore opportunities for Interros and Norilsk Nickel to add value to Plug Power, specifically in the areas of technology development and market access. A team from Plug Power recently spent a week in Russia at an exclusive symposium, in which key counterparts from Interros, Norilsk Nickel, and affiliated technology organizations, including representatives from the Russian Academy of Sciences, provided an overview of their vast capabilities in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Coincident with the symposium, Plug Power shipped two GenCore® and two GenSys® systems for display at the symposium and at the World Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, which was attended by Russia's president, Vladimir Putin.

As part of the transaction, the investors have the right to appoint four of the company's 11 board members and have to date appointed three of the directors: Sergey Polikarpov, director of Smart Hydrogen; Sergey Batekhin, managing director of Interros; and Joel Gross, Independent Consultant to the telecommunications industry. The Company expects the investors to appoint the fourth director within the next several weeks.

Plug Power has sold 650 fuel-cell systems worlside since the late 1190’s.  The Company’s goal this year is selll between 500 and 750 systems.
 (April 2006) India’s National Hydrogen Energy Board  gives green light to its hydrogen roadmap  - 1,000,000 H2 vehicles and 1 GW of power. The road map has estimated an investment of $5.6 billion during the 2000 - 2020 time period.  The money is to be used for research, development and demonstration, and infrastructure for hydrogen production, storage, transportation and distribution.
Microsoft Excel Chart The fuel cell components markets are expected to grow as products begin to reach the market commercially in all three categories of offerings: 1) micro fuel cells to replace batteries, 2) residential and backup power units, 3) in busses, and in the personal transport markets.  If the advances promised by current trends are accomplished, the fuel cell component markets could reach  the $100 billion mark in 2013 for the combined segments.  (Data and information are from “Fuel Cell Components Market Opportunities, Strategies, and Forecasts, 2005 to 2013 by Research and Markets.” For more information see +
 Verizon installs largest fuel cell project on Long Island.  The seven fuel cells   built by United Technologies Corporation (UTC) will power its large call-switching center and office building in Garden City , N.Y.  Each of the seven fuel cells is capable of generating 200kW of electrical power per hour.  By using the electricity from the fuel cells and reclaiming the heat and water, the fuel cells canproduce enough heat to help heat and cool the building, Verizon is eliminating approximately 11.1 million pounds of carbon dioxide that would have been emitted into the atmosphere  by a similar-sized fossil-fuel based power plant during one year.  The company expects to save $250,000 annually in commercial power costs.  Major funding for the project is from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
 Keep waiting if you’re looking for a fuel cell to power your phone
“ seems that the cells will reach the mass market for portable devices anytime soon which means that the best - case scenario doesn’t show any significant growth for portable fuel cells before 2008...Most of the current prototypes are still a long way away.”
August, 2004, p. 1*


 Fuel Cell jobs
Microsoft Excel Worksheet
The study, “Fuel Cells at the Crossroads: Attitude Regarding the Investment C limate for the U.S. Fuel Cell Industry and a Projection of Industy Job Creation Potential,” estimates the total employment in the U.S. fuel cell industryin 2002  was approximately 4,500 to 5,000 and could yield nearly 200,000 new jobs in the next 20 years.

One of the conclusions of the study reports that with post 2001 decline in risk capital investment in fuel cells and hydrogen, it is crucial for government to increase its support in partnership with industry.

The study was conducted by Breakthrough Technologies Institute and can be downloaded free of charge at the website:
(December,2003) U.S. battery and fuel cell materials demand are projected to read $3 billion in 2007; this is a 6.2 percent increase.  The growing popularity of high -drain devices such as digital cameras and 3G (third-generation) wireless phones will lead to an acceleration in U.S. battery production, spurring materials demand.  Fuel cell output will climb tenfold, resulting in stellar gains in associated materials consumption.  

Carbon graphite and polymers will record some of the strongest increases through 2007.   Even the market for nanomaterials with the potential to dramatically improve battery and fuel cell performance will climb at a fast pace as well.
Microsoft Excel Worksheet
Metals will continue to account for more than half of all battery and fuel cell materials consumption in 2007. Healthy sales conditions for small volume metals such as lithium, titanium and platinum will stimulate overall metals demand. Market gains for chemicals (i.e. lithium salts, manganese dioxide and solvents) account for the second largest share of total materials demand.

Electrodes will remain by far the largest functional category for materials. Strong increases will be registered in the battery market by materials used in separators, electrolytes and other functions such as catalysts and performance additives. These items are the focus of research and development activity aimed at reducing manufacturing costs and improving product performance.  

Information is from Battery & Fuel Cell Materials (published 10/2003, 245 pages) by The Freedonia Group, Inc. The cost is $3,800. Information may be obtained through
 (Oct. 2003) Duracell agrees to work with MTI MicroFuel Cells to develop portable fuel cells consumers.  Gillette Co. the parent of Duracell has made an investment of up to $5 million in MicroFuel, a partially owned subsidiary of Mechanical Technology Inc.  In the agreement, MTI MicoFuel Cells will work on developing a the unit for general consumers while Duracell will work on developing the refills.   Bill Acker, chief executive of Micro Fuel, said it was too early to say how soon the device would be ready for the commercial market.
FuelCell Energy (FCEL) and Caterpillar Announce First Joint Power Plant Sale in California
FCEL’s stock rises 26 percent on Sept. 24, 2003

The 250-kilWatt Direct Fuel CellR (DFC) power plant will be used by the Los Angeles (L.A.) County Sanitation Districts.  The Districts plan to install the fuel cell unit at its Palmdale Water Reclamation Plant in northwest L.A. County. This sale marks the first joint  project of Caterpillar and FuelCell Energy in California. The California districts that bought the plant are receiving $1.1 million in incentives from the California Public Utilities Commissions.  Chris Swan, an analyst at TD Newcrest International said in favor of the new order by FuelCell Energy and Caterpillar, “They need to get more systems out there to drive costs down.”

Earlier in September, the City of Los Angels dedicated its new fuel cell power plant, implemented by FCEL,  at the Terminal Island plant in San Pedro. The plant will represent one of the first high-efficiency fuel cell plants in the nation to utilize renewable fuel.  The plant uses up to 50 percent less fuel per kiloWatt-hour than the average conventional power plant and produces much less emissions.  While the fuel cell currently operates with natural gas, the intent is to develop a gas-processing treatment unit that will clean and process the biogas so that it will be compatible with the requirements of the fuel cell.  

The Terminal Island fuel cell power plant is significantly cleaner than the average U.S. fossil fuel power plant. In fact, based on annual usage, each 250 kiloWatt fuel cell power plant displaces the following levels of pollutants:
• 1.2 million pounds of carbon dioxide
• 11,000 pounds of nitrogen oxide
•  25,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide

The DFC operates by generating electricity with no combustion.  They continuously operate as long as fuel is supplied. DFC power plants are designed to generate hydrogen internally so there is no need for an external hydrogen supplied infrastructure.  

As for FCEL’s stock, the Company reported a third quarter loss of $0.38 a share, as compared with $0.34 a share a year earlier.  However, these number surpassed the Street’s outlook which had expected a loss of $.46 a share.   

(September,03)U.S. Battery & Fuel Cell Components Demand to Reach $4.9 Billion in 2007
 (August 2003) NEC unveils  its prototype  methanol-fueled laptop.  NEC intends to introduce its computer with a fuel-cell system which can run for five consecutive hours on a single cartridge of methanol fuel.  Plans are to commercialize the product in 2004.    NEC’s future plans, in the next two years, are to develop a fuel cell with longer running time for up to 40 hours.

Toshiba has also stated it would have a fuel cell powered notebook by 2003.  Some of the other Japanese companies working in this area are Casio and Hitachi.
(July,2003) Millennium Cell and U.S. Borax Inc. release the results of a new poll conducted by Harris Interactive, Inc. which states the American public’s viewpoint on possible new fuels for vehicles. The study states that Americans are “willing to try a new hydrogen-based fuel for their vehicles.”  However,  safety was rated (by 83%) as the most important issue in accepting alternative fuels.  The second most important issue was cost (78%) although nearly half of the respondents (44%) said they would be willing to pay at least twice as much as they pay now for gasoline.
Adobe Photoshop ImageAllied Business Intelligence’s (ABI) study, “Global Stationary Fuel Cell Market - A Detailed Analysis of an Emerging Industry,” states that there is a shift from research and development to the establishment of manufacturing plants. “The heightened level of competition has been forcing companies in the field towards introducing meaningful early commercial products into niche markets,” said Atakan Ozbek of ABI. Early adopter markets such as wastewater treatment plants, telecommunications backup centers, and data centers will be the first markets that will see stationary fuel cell products deployed. ABI can see deployment from 50 Watts to 30 megaWatts in the U.S. and worldwide. The U.S., followed by Japan and Germany, will be the key markets in early deployments. (
(August,02) Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in Michigan has created a formal working group that will examine plans for a research and development center focused on new technologies. The “Energy Center of Excellence” will include a researchinstitute dedicated to studying alternative energy sources, a business incubator supporting energy-related ventures and an education and training center. The center would be the first commercial project to integrate fuel cell technology, heat recovery systems, microturbines, photovoltaics and Nickel-metal hydride battery storage system research.
Ballard Power reported a loss on the first quarter operating results for the quarter ending March 31, 2002. The quarter’s net loss was $50.7 million, or ($.048) per share, compared with a net loss of $1.4 million, or ($0.16) per share, during the same period in 2001. Banc of America Securities’ said the figures, lower than anticipated, were a “negative surprise” primarily caused by higher than expected depreciation and amortization expense, reflecting the impact of the recent acquisitions. “Energy Technology: Power of Growth Weekly” by Banc of America Securities, 05/06/02 (06-02BD75-7-8)
Adobe Photoshop ImageThe market for portable power supplies in the US is projected to increase 7.2 percent per year through 2005 to $10.7 billion. Among the major established products, secondary batteries hold the best prospects going forward, given their leadership position in growth markets such as high-end IT devices. Demand for primary batteries, exposed to more mature product markets and less potential for technological upgrade, will grow at a below-average pace. Portable and micro fuel cells are expected to be sold in commercially significant volumes by mid-decade. On the downside, portable power supply markets will be adversely impacted by slower economic growth than prevailed during the latter 1990s. (Data is from ‘Portable Power Supplies’ by The Freedonia Group, Inc., Tel: 440-684-9600.) +