IdaTech and Tokyo Boeki Join to Manufacture and Market Fuel Cells In Japan
BEND, Ore., Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- IdaTech, a subsidiary of IDACORP (NYSE: IDA), announced today the execution of a long term license and distribution agreement for its patented fuel cell systems with Tokyo Boeki, Ltd., a Japanese corporation. Tokyo Boeki also took a minority equity position in IdaTech and agreed to promote the IdaTech brand name in Japan exclusively.
Under the terms of the agreement, Tokyo Boeki shall represent IdaTech in the manufacture, distribution and sales of fuel cell components and systems in Japan and 13 Asian countries. The agreement includes a multi-year, multi-million dollar purchase agreement that includes joint development to "localize" IdaTech's fuel cell technology for the Japanese market.
"In 2001, Tokyo Boeki shall commence field testing IdaTech's 1 kilowatt and 3 kilowatt fuel cell power systems designed for use in a typical Japanese residence," said Kazuei Uchida, Tokyo Boeki's chief operating officer for overseas machinery sales division. "Also, we shall conduct an exhaustive technology and market feasibility study, and work closely with IdaTech to develop Japanese and Asian markets for the rapid introduction of commercial fuel cell systems."
"Japan is a potentially huge market for small scale fuel cell systems for stationary and portable applications up to 10 kilowatts. We selected Tokyo Boeki to represent IdaTech after lengthy discussions concerning possible manufacturing, marketing and distribution of our patented technology in Japan and Asia," said Alan Guggenheim, president of IdaTech.
"We look forward to representing IdaTech," said Uchida. "Fuel cell technology represents a vast new industry that can help us meet the mushrooming market demand for energy in Japan and, indeed, all of Asia."
In 2001 and 2002, IdaTech shall deliver prototype PEM fuel cell systems to Japan that will be manufactured at IdaTech's prototype manufacturing plant in Bend, Oregon. Beyond 2002, Tokyo Boeki and IdaTech are planning to manufacture units overseas for marketing and distribution in Japan and other countries in Asia.
The initial test systems in 2001 will operate on methanol and, possibly, other fuels. They will be sized for residential and portable applications. A typical system can generate approximately 2.5 kilowatts of electricity and another 2.5 kilowatts of equivalent heat for water and space heating purposes.
"These fuel cell systems are powerful enough to cover the base-load requirements in the typical Japanese home," said Guggenheim. He said IdaTech's objective with Tokyo Boeki is to commercialize cost-effective small-scale power generation equipment that is safe, efficient, environmentally clean, quiet and compact.
Formed in 1947, Tokyo Boeki is a highly innovative trading and marketing company with longtime connections with utilities and equipment manufacturers in Japan and the Pacific Rim. The 52-year-old Japanese company trades in raw materials, machinery, steel and farm products. Privately held, Tokyo Boeki is developing expertise in the field of electrical power co-generation equipment that includes fuel cell and micro-turbine technologies.
Founded in 1996 and based in Bend, Oregon, IdaTech is a world leader in the development, manufacture and sale of compact, low-cost fuel cell power generation systems and components. IdaTech's products include a patented fuel processor that converts conventional fuels, such as methanol, natural gas and propane, into greater than 99.9% pure hydrogen, which the fuel cell itself then transforms into electricity.
IdaTech is majority owned by IDACORP Technologies, the clean-energy subsidiary of Boise-based IDACORP. For more information, please visit www.idatech.com or www.idacorpinc.com.
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