Johnson Matthey and Anglo Platinum have for many years collaborated on research and development into fuel cell components and enabling technologies, under a long-term agreement announced in May 1993. Anglo Platinum has agreed to contribute its share of the intellectual property rights (IPR) and know-how which has been developed under that agreement, together with a £20 million payment, in return for the 17.5% stake in the new company.
Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells Limited will manufacture and market all the fuel cell components currently being developed by Johnson Matthey including membrane electrode assemblies, fuel processors and fuel cell catalysts. It will continue to be managed as part of the Johnson Matthey group and purchase services from other parts of the group. The relationship with Anglo Platinum will also give the fuel cell business improved access to future platinum supplies.
Chris Clark, Chief Executive of Johnson Matthey commented, "This is another milestone in the commercialisation of our fuel cell technology. The new structure ensures that all the technology jointly developed by Johnson Matthey and Anglo Platinum is owned by our fuel cell subsidiary. We are delighted to continue our partnership with Anglo Platinum in this exciting new business which will become a major user of platinum in the future."
Neil Carson, Executive Director of the Catalysts & Chemicals Division of Johnson Matthey, added, "Several of our key customers have made announcements in recent months about their own plans to commercialise fuel cell products. We have nearly completed phase 1 of our investment in MEA production at Swindon designed to support these customers, and phase 2 will not be far behind. This is a good time for us to crystallize our longstanding relationship with Anglo Platinum in fuel cells".
Notes for Editors:
Johnson Matthey Plc is a speciality chemicals company focussed on its core skills in precious metals, catalysts and fine chemicals. The group's principal activities are the manufacture of autocatalysts and pollution control systems, catalysts and components for fuel cells, pharmaceutical compounds, process catalysts and speciality chemicals; the refining, fabrication and marketing of precious metals; and the manufacture of colours and coatings for the ceramic, glass, paint and plastics industries. Its close relationship with Anglo Platinum dates back over 70 years.
The Anglo Platinum Group is the world's leading primary producer of platinum group metals. The group comprises the holding company (Anglo Platinum) and its wholly owned subsidiaries: Rustenburg Platinum Mines, Potgietersrust Platinums Limited and Lebowa Platinum Mines Limited. Anglo Platinum is listed on the Johannesburg and London stock exchanges.
Fuel cells generate power by combining hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, heat and water. They use an electrochemical process to produce a direct current, without combustion and without moving parts. Fuel cells thus provide a means of generating power cleanly, quietly and efficiently near to its point of use and offer the prospect of zero emissions transport.
Johnson Matthey has committed many years of effort to developing fuel cell technology and continues to make major investments in its fuel cell business. Today it is the world's leading producer of catalysts and catalysed components for fuel cells.
In April 2000, Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells was formed as a separate business unit within the Catalysts & Chemicals Division dedicated to the development and manufacture of catalysts, membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs), fuel processors, and catalysed components for low temperature fuel cell systems. Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells is expanding rapidly and today employs more than 150 people in its research and manufacturing facilities in Europe, the USA and Japan. It is currently constructing a dedicated manufacturing facility for MEAs (the key component at the heart of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell) in Swindon, UK.