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Toshiba to Reinforce Fuel Cell Business for Residential Use in Japan

17 November, 2004


Toshiba and UTC Fuel Cells Agreed to Rearrange Fuel Cell Partnership

Tokyo -- Toshiba Corporation today announced moves to reinforce its on-site fuel cell business, including positioning Toshiba International Fuel Cells (TIFC) as a wholly owned Toshiba subsidiary. The announcement follows a November 9 agreement with UTC Fuel Cells of Connecticut, U.S.A, under which Toshiba acquired UTC Fuel Cells' 49% interest in TIFC. The company will be renamed as Toshiba Fuel Cells Power Systems and will take the lead in promoting commercialization of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC) in the Japanese market.

Fuel cells are attracting increasing attention as technological advances achieve the levels of cost and operating efficiency that make them a realistic alternative to other power sources. Toshiba has led the industry in developing fuel-cell technology for various applications, and is now focusing resources on bringing fuel cells into the home. Toshiba has identified the PEFC as the most appropriate technology for such applications.

TIFC was established in March 2001 as a joint venture between Toshiba and UTC Fuel Cells. The company manufactures 1kW class PEFCs that have a proven record of real-world performance: 38% generating efficiency (Low Heat Value), more than 6,000 hours of successful operation as a power generating unit and more than 10,000 hours as a cell stack. TIFC has already delivered more than 40 1kW PEFCs to the government, utility companies and housing companies in Japan, for installation and field testing and has achieved more than 70,000 hours of successful generation of the electricity by those PEFC units.

Toshiba Fuel Cells Power Systems will succeed to the expertise cultivated by TIFC and continue to lead the Japanese market in commercializing on-site fuel cells for residential use. Looking to the future, the company will also extend its operations to include fuel cells for industrial and transportation applications.

The agreement with UTC Fuel Cells will allow Toshiba to focus on the immediate target of bringing 1kW class PEFCs to the Japanese residential market. Because PEFCs offer an eco-friendly route to electricity co-generation, and heat output of approximately 60 degrees centigrade, Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is promoting their on-site use as an alternative energy source for residences, and will launch a program in 2005 to support the installation and monitoring of approximately 3,000 prototype fuel cells over three years. Toshiba Fuel Cells Power Systems will use this policy initiative as an opportunity to expand its fuel cell business and targets to supply the project with several hundreds of 1kW PEFCs a year. METI's forecasts see PEFC generating 2,200MW electricity for the residential use by 2010. Toshiba expects 2008 to be the year when the PEFC market starts to expand in Japan, and new company looks to support this expansion with the capability to supply 1,000 PEFCs a year.

Toshiba Corporation's Industrial and Power Systems & Services Company, which develops and delivers power generating plant and equipment, sees the emergence of practical fuel cells as a highly promising new business opportunity. The company will establish a Fuel Cells Business Promotion Department on December 1, charged with expediting the commercialization of on-site fuel cells.

Under the agreement announced today, United Technologies Corporation (UTC) purchased Toshiba's 10% stake in UTC Fuel Cells. UTC Fuel Cells will continue to pursue its own initiatives in fuel cells; Toshiba and UTC Fuel Cells will remain as key technical partners for continued development of advanced fuel cells that meet diversifying market needs, extending a collaborative relationship in developing fuel-cell technology for commercial and residential applications that dates back to the 1980s.

Outline of New Company

  • Name of the company: Toshiba Fuel Cells Power Systems
  • Location: Shibaura 1-1-1, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
  • Capital: 2.5 billion yen
  • Start of operation: December 1, 2004
  • President: Yoshiyuki Kimura
  • Employees: 65
  • Business areas: Development, manufacturing and sales of fuel cells

Outline of UTC Fuel Cells

  • Location: Connecticut, U.S.A
  • President: Jan Van Dokkum
  • Establishment: April 1998
  • Employees: 650
  • Business areas: Development, manufacturing and sales of fuel cells


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