Toshiba partners with Chinese startup in fuel cell system development

02, Nov. 2019

TOKYO, NNA – Energy equipment and system provider Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corp. has teamed up with a Chinese startup to develop fuel cell systems for the Chinese market in anticipation of growth in demand for clean energy.

The company said in a statement Thursday it has allied with More Hydrogen Energy Technology Co., a fuel cell system manufacturing startup based in the southern city of Guangzhou, marking its first partnership in the hydrogen business in China.

The move came as the Chinese venture, established in 2018, sought the alliance with the Toshiba group arm based in Kawasaki, west of Tokyo, spokesman Tomoyuki Kaku said in a phone interview with NNA on Friday.

The Chinese firm uses methanol reforming technology for its systems, according to the statement.

Toshiba can “supply a core part of the systems and receive technical assistance fees” in a bid to jointly establish “smaller fuel cell systems with higher efficiency and longer durability” compared to the startup’s existing products, the spokesman said.

It expects the partnership to last two to three years and initially start providing mainly telecommunications firms with fuel cell systems to be developed for the use of base stations, Kaku said.

In Japan, the Toshiba energy equipment unit has supplied over 100 fuel cell systems to a wide range of customers from convenience stores to manufacturers for their power consumption, according to the company.

The Kawasaki-based firm announced Wednesday it has sold a fuel cell system to a Singaporean research institute as its first shipment overseas.

It has signed a memorandum of understanding with Indonesian state-owned electrical power company, Perusahaan Listrik Negara, or PLN, and the Philippines’ National Electrification Administration to promote Toshiba’s hydrogen-based energy supply system, according to the company.