AFC Energy and Industrial Chemicals to install UK fuel cell facility

25 June 2012 (Last Updated June 25th, 2012 18:30)

AFC Energy in partnership with Industrial Chemicals Limited (ICL) has unveiled plans to install a fuel cell facility with a generating capacity of 1MW in the UK.

AFC Energy, in partnership with Industrial Chemicals Limited (ICL), has unveiled plans to install a fuel cell facility with a generating capacity of 1MW in the UK.

The facility will employ AFC's low-cost alkaline fuel cell system and will be installed in phases at ICL's chlor-alkali plant in Essex.

ICL plant's chlor-alkali process will produce hydrogen which can be used to generate power using AFC Energy's fuel cell system.

AFC Energy CEO, Ian Williamson, said: "This clean energy opportunity would enable a European technology to demonstrate cost effectiveness compared with other forms of power generation."

AFC's alkaline fuel cell system will form part of ICL's integrated energy generation plan at the site and will produce enough energy to power 500 homes in the region.

The new plant will enable ICL to reduce dependence on the national grid and help utilise waste hydrogen, which would otherwise be discharged into the atmosphere.

Under the terms of the joint plan, AFC Energy will supply fuel cell systems to ICL in stages under an energy supply company model, while ICL will purchase power under long-term contracts.

ICL Energy projects manager, Darren Sharpe, said: "The prospect of developing a fuel cell capable of producing 1MWe of clean electrical power from hydrogen that would otherwise be waste from the chlor-alkali process is exciting in terms of technology advancement together with commercial savings on energy cost, distribution and supplier charges.'

Initial work on an AFC's Beta Plus System will begin later this year and work on the full-scale system will start following completion of project finance.

The companies are seeking grants from UK and Europe to accelerate the demonstration of the large-scale fuel cell system.

AFC Energy will own, operate and maintain the fuel cell systems.