UK companies form joint venture in fuel cell power stations

06 Oct 2010 | News


Three UK companies, Powerfuel Power Ltd, B9 Coal Ltd and AFC Energy Plc have agreed to install AFC Energy’s fuel cell technology at Powerfuel’s Hatfield site near Doncaster, Yorkshire. The agreement will lead to the creation of a joint venture between B9 Coal and Powerfuel to develop low-carbon fuel cell power stations in the UK. B9 Coal will be responsible for installing up to 300 megawatts (MW) of AFC Energy’s fuel cell technology alongside Powerfuel’s planned integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power station.

The agreement also includes an option to roll out the technology to further territories worldwide in the future.

The venture is an opportunity for fuel cell technology on both a local and global scale, according to Alisa Murphy, Director B9 Coal Ltd. “Together we can offer a technically advanced solution to the problem of rising carbon emissions, as well as a practical and commercial template for clean energy generation.”

Powerfuel is constructing a large scale IGCC, near-zero emissions power station with carbon capture capability at the Hatfield site. Initial construction will involve an 800 MW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) facility optimised for syngas conversion and operation. Powerfuel then plans to convert the CCGT plant into a 900 MW IGCC power station, fuelled by local coal resources.

The syngas used in the plant can easily be passed through a clean-up process to produce hydrogen as a feedstock for AFC Energy’s low cost alkaline fuel cells. AFC Energy’s technology converts hydrogen to emissions-free electricity at 60 per cent of electrical efficiency.

The planned installation at a major low-carbon power station such as Hatfield underlines the growing understanding of the fuel cell as a pull-through technology for the widespread adoption of Carbon Capture and Storage. AFC Energy’s fuel cell technology is gaining considerable momentum across a variety of industries and applications, including the chlor-alkali sector, waste-to-energy, clean coal and natural gas.

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