Ballard Power Systems has announced the signing of a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with its partner Azure Hydrogen Corporation of Beijing, China (Azure), extending the scope of their collaboration to include fuel cell buses.
The MOU with Azure envisions Ballard providing a manufacturing license agreement, engineering services, fuel cell stacks and components. As the MOU is non-binding, it is not a certainty that a definitive contract will be completed, however, the parties will move into the contract phase in the next several months. In the interim, under terms of the MOU, Azure has made a committed $1 million up-front payment to Ballard.
Azure plans to develop fuel cell bus capabilities in China with Ballard’s technical support and funding from Chinese sources, including both private investors as well as various levels of Government. If Azure is successful with its plans, the collaboration under this MOU would lead to the deployment of zero emission fuel cell buses in China.
John Sheridan, Ballard President and CEO, signed the MOU with Azure while in Beijing as a guest of the Chinese Government at the “China Beijing International Fair for Trade in Services” (www.ciftis.org/en/).
Participating in the signing ceremony at the International Trade Fair, along with Mr. Grand Mao, Chairman of Azure and Mr. Sheridan, were Mr. Zhang Younggui, General Secretary of the Investment Association of China and Mr. Guy Saint-Jacques, Canada’s Ambassador to China.
While at the International Trade Fair in Beijing, Mr. Sheridan also participated in a Dialogue Session between Governors, Ministers and CEO’s, as well as attending private meetings.
Mr. Sheridan said, “This has been a unique opportunity to meet with senior Chinese Government officials and to witness their renewed commitment for clean energy solutions to China’s pressing environmental challenges.”
Mr. Grand Mao, Chairman of Azure added, “The market in China for clean technology solutions, such as fuel cells, is very large. We are keen to expand our relationship with Ballard, a world-leading fuel cell company, into motive power applications.”
As proven by demonstration fleets in numerous countries, fuel cell buses can effectively provide zero emission public transit. With the severe air quality problems in major Chinese cities, and China’s vast economic capabilities, the country is a natural market opportunity for the deployment of clean energy fuel cell technology. Ballard fuel cell products are currently powering zero emission fuel cell buses in public transit service in more than 10 countries, including Canada, the U.S., Brazil, India, China and a number of European countries.