In mid-May, an AVX Corp. subsidiary, AVX Interconnect Europe, signed a EUR 12.5 million agreement to acquire Kumatec Sondermaschinenbau & Kunststoffverarbeitung, a German plastic components manufacturer based in Neuhaus-Schierschnitz, near Coburg. As a U.S. supplier of advanced electronic parts, interconnect solutions and sensor products, AVX bought Kumatec to benefit from the latter’s expertise in automation.
Plansee SE, which specializes in high-temperature materials and is based in Reutte, Austria, will discontinue its fuel cell business. Early this year, management had announced that the company intended to refocus attention on core operations, namely molybdenum and wolfram production, and abandon research on metal-supported fuel cells. It is said, however, that Global Tungsten & Powders, a fully owned Plansee subsidiary headquartered in Towanda, USA, will continue
The second half of the year is said to right the wrongs of the first, when fuel cell stocks did not have a chance to shine in the spotlight. Recent oil price hikes, typically a surefire recipe for larger investments in renewable energy, have had no discernable impact either. The interest shown by institutional investors in Tesla is much higher than that in the companies described below, most likely because their market caps are nowhere near USD 50 billion.
Even Ballard’s chief executive, Randall MacEwen, has been heard using the word “megatrend” to describe the future of the fuel cell market. The industry is benefitting from the technological readiness of multiple fuel cell products and bringing them to market will only be a matter of time. The driver of growth at Ballard is a broad portfolio of prototypes and partnerships.
FuelCell Energy (Nasdaq: FCEL) disclosed in June that South Korean Posco Energy would end its agreement with the company to provide certain market access rights in Asia. By contrast, other Korean suppliers have begun to invest in fuel cells on a large scale. Posco’s decision could have been made for strategic reasons, maybe to limit its product range. The fuel cell division seems to be the logical choice
From USD 6 to USD 12 and right back where it all started, you might say. Low revenues in quarters one and two prompted the price to dwindle. But Hydrogenics continues to offer a great outlook given all the bookings made throughout the year. Likewise, it is working on a variety of projects, particularly in China. Recently, it started up one of the world’s biggest power-to-gas systems in Ontario, Canada.
There came the bombshell: On Aug. 7, Tesla chief Elon Musk tweeted he was considering taking the company off the stock market, a process known as delisting. And he put a price on it – USD 420 per share, which would mean a market value of more than USD 80 billion, including debt. He said funding had been secured. Had it really been? It was said that the suggestion to privatize came from Saudi Arabia
There has been a long tradition of hydrogen and fuel cell use in spaceflight programs. But it is a little-known fact that the U.S. Army, too, has been developing fuel cell devices for multiple applications. Could its efforts translate into a first-mover advantage and give the market the boost it needs? Here’s a look at how “America First” could be a blessing for fuel cells.
A new technology developed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory could significantly lower the cost of building new hydrogen fueling stations as well as expanding the fueling capacity of existing ones. The new method could reduce the need for expensive equipment and help bring down the cost of station upgrades by re-tasking compressors to serve more than one dispenser at a time and always allow for a fully pressurized and filled cylinder to be available on-site.
Canada has been the biggest driver of a commercial hydrogen and fuel cell market over the past 30 years. It has come as far as it has without political pressure to invent new technologies to protect the climate and the environment, provide security of supply or create jobs and stimulate growth. Early on, hydrogen and fuel cell companies such as Ballard and Hydrogenics recognized the market potential for vehicle applications.