Johnson Matthey and SFC Energy expand their strategic partnership to focus on hydrogen fuel cells

Johnson Matthey (JM), a global leader in sustainable technologies, has extended its partnership with SFC Energy to include a commitment from JM to develop and supply proton exchange membrane (PEM) components to support SFC Energy’s growth in hydrogen fuel cells. 

SFC Energy AG is a leading provider of hydrogen and direct methanol fuel cells for stationary and mobile hybrid power solutions. With more than 60,000 fuel cells sold worldwide, SFC is expanding its offering of higher power hydrogen fuel cells for stationary markets.  

JM and SFC’s long-term collaboration has to date centred around the supply of components for SFC’s direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) systems. JM and SFC have entered into an agreement where SFC will receive assets and technology to produce these components for DMFC at SFC’s new development and manufacturing site near Swindon, UK. JM and SFC plan for JM to supply catalysts for this application for at least 5 years. This agreement allows JM to focus on its strategic hydrogen fuel cells and electrolyser business, and SFC to secure the supply chain for this important part of their business. 

Looking to the future, JM and SFC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) detailing their intention to work together in the field of hydrogen fuel cells for stationary applications, where PEM components will be developed under a joint development agreement (JDA) with the intent that JM supplies these components for at least 5 years. 

Mark Wilson, Chief Executive of Hydrogen Technologies at Johnson Matthey said: “The evolution of our partnership with SFC Energy to focus on PEM components demonstrates how our technology, manufacturing capabilities, and expertise make us ideal long-term partners for our customers. It is an important step in the implementation of our strategy.”  

Hydrogen fuel cell-powered generators are an ultra-low carbon intensity alternative to those powered by fossil fuels. They provide all the same advantages as diesel-powered generators in terms of fast start-up times and can deliver a wide range of power requirements but have zero emissions. SFC has been successfully focussing on the back-up and off-grid power market for industrial, public security, and private customers and has built a leading market position. 

Dr. Peter Podesser, CEO of SFC Energy AG said: "We have now been given the opportunity by Johnson Matthey to obtain assets and technology for the production of components for DMFCs. This is not something that can be taken for granted and is evidence of a strong partnership that has been in place for about 20 years. We are expanding our fuel cell competencies and will benefit greatly from the agreement with the target of cost reduction and further performance enhancement. We are pleased that Johnson Matthey will continue to be at our side. The long-term supply of catalysts for DMFC and agreement to work on hydrogen PEM components shows that we are convinced of the quality of Johnson Matthey and will continue to rely on this proven partnership in the future.” 

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