22 February 2002 22:01 [Source: ICIS news]
TORONTO (CNI)--The Canadian government will invest Can$19m ($12m/Euro14m) in DuPont Canada’s fuel cell business, helping to finance a four-year project to develop new components to reduce the cost of fuel cell production, DuPont Canada announced Friday.
Under the program, DuPont Canada will develop new materials for the production of key fuel cell components - the so-called conductive flowfield plates for use in proton exchange membrane (PEM)-based fuel cell applications, DuPont said in a statement.
In addition, DuPont also will design what was described as unitised cells for building blocks in PEM-based fuel cells.
The project is based at DuPont’s research and development (R&D) centre in Kingston, Ontario. DuPont expects to invest some Can$45 by 2009 in fuel cells R&D there.
DuPont Canada employs 27 scientists and experts in the Kingston fuel cell program but that number will increase to 80 within the coming four years.
If the project is successful, another 500 people will be employed in production and further development, DuPont said.
The Canadian government finance comes from Technology Partnership Canada (TPC), a technology investment fund established to help finance selected R&D and technology projects that encourage private investment.
DuPont officials said TPC’s contribution is important in advancing its on-going development of fuel cell technology.
Said David Peet, global business director for DuPont Fuel Cells: "This (partnership with TPC) is an important part of DuPont’s global effort to advance fuel cell technology and expand our offering beyond Nafion membranes into fuel cell components."
Officials at the federal Ministry of Industry, which oversees TPC, emphasised that the program’s key goals will be to "introduce innovations that will reduce the cost of manufacturing fuel cell systems to make the technology economically viable."
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