Luxury car maker Rolls-Royce plc signed an
agreement Wednesday with a Singapore consortium that includes several
Singapore government-linked entities to jointly invest US$100 million
in a new venture to develop a commercially viable power system based on
fuel cell technology.
Under the agreement, Rolls-Royce will hold a 75 percent stake in
Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems Ltd., a company which it already formed
in 2003 to develop solid oxide fuel cell, while the remaining stake
will be held by Enertek Singapore Pte. Ltd., the Singapore consortium.
The Singapore consortium comprises EDB Investments, the investment
subsidiary of the Economic Development Board, the state investment
company Temasek Holdings, and Accuron Technologies, a precision
engineering group based in Singapore.
A fuel cell manufacturing facility is expected to be established in
Singapore in the next few years when the product is ready for
Rolls-Royce is planning to use Singapore as its base to reach out to other markets in Asia.
"We see this as an iconic project for the development of the fuel cell
industry in Singapore. One can liken it to a 'queen bee,' which will
attract other companies to set up operations in Singapore and start a
new fuel cell ecosystem here," Singapore Minister for Community
Development, Youth and Sports, Vivian Balakrishnan said.
Fuel cell technology, which involves the generation of electricity by
combining fuel and air in an electrochemical reaction, has the
capability to generate power more efficiently than a conventional gas
turbine, and is seen as more environmentally friendly.
Rolls-Royce began researching fuel cell technologies in 1992 and
decided to pursue the commercialization of its expertise in 2002. The
company is targeting to create a stationary power-generation system
providing around 1 megawatt of electricity, for market delivery some
time before the end of 2008.
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