Ballard Power Systems and Millennium Cell Agree to Collaborate on Hydrogen Generators for Portable Power

Ballard Power Systems and Millennium Cell enter into joint development of portable fuel cell technology.

Published: 30-Oct-2000

VANCOUVER, B.C. & EATONTOWN, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 30, 2000-- Ballard Power Systems Inc. (TSE:BLD.) (NASDAQ:BLDP) and Millennium Cell Inc. announced today that they have entered into a joint development agreement to further develop Millennium Cell's proprietary hydrogen generation system for use with Ballard's portable power fuel cell products.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ballard has received the right to purchase up to 400,000 common shares of Millennium Cell stock at a predetermined price.

Upon successful completion of the joint development and product prototype agreement, Ballard will have the right to license Millennium Cell's technology for use in its portable products on an exclusive basis for a defined period of time. Ballard paid US $2.4 million as an advance for prospective royalties payable under the licence.

"This agreement helps establish Millennium Cell's role as a provider of key enabling technology in the fuel cell industry," said Stephen Tang, Millennium Cell's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our goal is to commercialize a hydrogen-generating system that provides significant advantages over current hydrogen generation and storage methods. We recognize the value of working with an experienced leader of Ballard's calibre. This relationship will play a significant role in reaching an emerging mass market for portable power with a market leader."

"The successful development and commercialization of Millennium Cell's hydrogen generation system will complement Ballard's portable fuel cell products," said Kip Smith, Ballard's President and Chief Operating Officer. "Fuel flexibility will enhance the commercial introduction of Ballard(R) fuel cells and we are excited about this promising technology."

Millennium Cell has invented, patented and developed a proprietary process called Hydrogen On Demand(TM) that safely generates pure hydrogen or electricity from environmentally friendly raw materials. In the process, the energy potential of hydrogen is carried in the chemical bonds of sodium borohydride, which in the presence of a catalyst releases hydrogen or produces electricity in PEM Fuel Cells. The primary input components of the reaction are water and sodium borohydride, a derivative of borax, which is found in substantial natural reserves globally.

Ballard Power Systems is recognized as the world leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing zero-emission proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells for use in transportation, electricity generation and portable power products. Ballard Power Systems' proprietary fuel cell technology is enabling automobile, electrical equipment and portable power product manufacturers to develop environmentally clean products for sale. The fundamental component of these end-user products is the Ballard(R)fuel cell that combines hydrogen (which can be obtained from methanol, natural gas or petroleum) and oxygen (from air) without combustion to generate electricity. Ballard is partnering with strong, world-leading companies, including DaimlerChrysler, Ford, GPU International, ALSTOM and EBARA, to commercialize Ballard fuel cells. Ballard has also supplied fuel cells to Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen, Yamaha, Cinergy, Coleman Powermate and Matsushita Electric Works, among others.

This release contains forward-looking statements reflecting Ballard's current expectations as contemplated under the Safe Harbor provisions of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Law of 1995. Investors are cautioned that all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, product development delays, changing environmental regulations, the ability to attract and retain business partners, future levels of government funding, competition from other fuel cell manufacturers, competition from other advanced power technologies, competition from existing power technologies, evolving markets for generating electricity and power for transportation vehicles, and the ability to provide the capital required for product development, operations and marketing. These factors should be considered carefully and readers should not place undue reliance on Ballard's forward-looking statements. Investors are encouraged to review the section titled "Operating Results, Capital Requirements and Risks" (pages 35 to 40) in the Management's Discussion and Analysis section of Ballard's 1999 Annual Report for a more complete discussion of factors that could affect Ballard's future performance.

Ballard's Common shares are listed on The Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol "BLD" and on the Nasdaq National Market System under the symbol "BLDP". Ballard and the Ballard logo are registered trademarks of Ballard Power Systems Inc.

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