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Futuristic Vision Moves a Step Closer to Reality

September 20, 2012
Futuristic Vision Moves a Step Closer to Reality

Nottingham Post; A FUTURISTIC vision of a clean, green Nottingham has moved a step closer to reality with the completion of the city's first filling station for hydrogen-powered cars.

The hydrogen refuelling station is part of the University of Nottingham's new £6.5 million Energy Technologies Building on the Innovation Park along Triumph Road in Lenton. One of only a handful of hydrogen filling stations in the UK, the station will provide the raw gas to power vehicles that run on hydrogen fuel cells. Although hydrogen-fuelled cars are as yet virtually unknown on British roads, the university plans to make a fleet of up to five vehicles available for leasing and testing to Nottingham drivers from next year. With a full tank of 5kg of hydrogen, motorists should be able to drive 500 pollution-free kilometres before needing a refill costing £20 to £30.

Car share schemes are also planned to encourage use of the vehicles. A hydrogen-fuelled black cab taxi will also be based at the UNIP campus. "We'll initially be doing some small trials with dual fuel commercial transit vans which we'll be using to move our own equipment," said Gavin Walker, professor of sustainable energy, who is an expert in hydrogen storage technology at the university. "But we will later be looking to work with mainstream car manufacturers. They don't see hydrogen vehicles as being commercially viable until 2014 and 2015 so we'll be positioning ourselves as the place in the Midlands to roll out these vehicles."

The refilling station is part of the newly completed 2,500 sq metre Energy Technologies Building (ETB), which has been designed by Nottingham architects Maber and is dedicated to R&D of a broad range of low carbon technologies such as carbon capture and storage, solar, biomass and smart grid electrical systems.

Collaborations with industry are being developed which could lead to technology spin-offs and commercial developments of low carbon and energy efficient technologies. The building itself aspires to be the first laboratory complex in Britain with a sustainability rating of BREEAM Outstanding. With solar water heating and power from a biomass CHP system, the ETB should generate more energy than it uses and will export the excess to the neighbouring Institute of Mental Health building. Even the generation of hydrogen is being powered by renewable energy via a solar PV system on the roof. This provides the power to split distilled water into oxygen and hydrogen, which is stored in tanks at high pressure next to the ETB.

Dispensing with internal combustion engines, hydrogen-fuelled vehicles are powered by electricity generated by recombining the hydrogen with oxygen in an electrolyte. The only exhaust emission from the vehicle is water vapour. To date most hydrogen-powered vehicles in Britain have been demonstration vehicles. These have included a fleet of five black cab taxis, developed by Intelligent Energy, of Loughborough, that were used to ferry VIPs at the 2012 Olympic games. One of these taxis will be on call at the UNIP campus. The refuelling point at the ETB is Britain's latest hydrogen filling station. The first refuelling station for use by the general public opened at Honda's plant at Swindon last year and there are others in the Midlands at Sheffield, Loughborough, Birmingham and Coventry.


John Sheridan: The hydrogen fuel sell

August 08, 2012
John Sheridan: The hydrogen fuel sell

By Nelson Bennett Tue Aug 7, 2012 12:01am PST

In a glass display case in the foyer of the Burnaby headquarters of Ballard Power Systems (TSX:BLD) is a photo of Ford's first hydrogen fuel cell-powered car. It was taken in 1999, when Ballard was predicting hydrogen powered cars would be in showrooms within five to eight years, and capital market ebullience for clean energy was driving Ballard stock toward a dizzying peak of $192 per share.

But by the start of 2006, as investors wearied of hydrogen hype, Ballard's share prices had dropped to around $5 per share, the company had an annual cash burn of $80 million and still had no market for its fuel cells.  Despite the fact it now has customers and sales and is on the cusp of breaking even, investors continue to vote with their feet. Ballard's shares now edge down toward the $1 mark, to the great frustration of the company's shareholders.  "We wear the same frustration because we are shareholders too," said John Sheridan, the 57-year-old former Bell Canada (TSX:BCE) executive who was brought on board six years ago turn the company around.  "Did I think at the time we were going to make faster progress? I sure did. But when you look back and you think of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, and if you look at how North America shifted away from support for clean energy, I don't think it's surprising there's some real headwinds out there.  "Those headwinds include some well-earned skepticism from institutional investors. Since it was founded in 1987, Ballard has been more successful at selling an idea – a zero-emission energy source – than actual products.  But even one of the company's harshest critics – technology analyst Brian Piccioni – acknowledges Ballard is a very different company, thanks to Sheridan.

"I think he's done extremely well," said Piccioni, who expressed grave doubts about the company's prospects when he was an analyst for BMO Capital Markets. "People will say, 'What the hell? The stock has gone down by 90% under his tenure.' What people don't realize is that you've got to play the hand you're dealt."

Piccioni points to Sheridan's blue-chip resumé for shareholders looking for assurance that he can do what none of his predecessors have done: turn a profit.  "What I always found amazing is, if you look at the guy's history, you don't usually get people of this firepower running companies like Ballard," Piccioni said.  That history includes more than two decades with Bell in senior executive roles. Sheridan earned a BA degree in environmental studies from the University of Waterloo, a BA from Wilfred Laurier University's School of Business and a master's degree in economics from Queen's University.

Starting off as senior engineering associate with Bell, Sheridan eventually moved up to president and COO, leading a staff of 50,000.  In 1992, he left Bell and he and his wife and two sons moved to England, where Sheridan founded Encom, a British telecom and cable TV company. In 1996, after selling the company, he returned to Canada and went back to work for Bell.  Sheridan retired from Bell in 2003 and was looking for a new challenge when he was invited to chair Ballard's board of directors in 2004. In 2005, he stepped in as interim CEO, with the departure of his predecessor Dennis Campbell, and in February 2006 agreed to take on the role full-time and oversee a major restructuring.

"It was at a total crossroads," Sheridan said. "If you go back to 2005, Ballard had no products, no customers, no path to profitability. Ballard was an R&D company.

"He agreed to take the job, he said, because, for one, he likes a challenge. For another, he believes hydrogen holds great potential as a clean power source. He also admits Vancouver's lifestyle helps keep him here. He plays golf and enjoys hiking, cycling and walking his Bernese mountain dog.

"If you think of those things, where is a better place to live in the world?"

In 2007, Ballard divested itself of its automotive fuel cell division to Daimler and Ford to focus on areas with better short-term commercial prospects, and shed more than 240 positions in the process. More than 100 Ballard employees stayed in Ballard's Burnaby headquarters but moved over to the Daimler-Ford Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperative.  Ballard focused on four business entities that, while not as sexy as hydrogen car technology, has more potential for shorter-term commercialization: backup power for telecoms, fuel cells for forklifts and buses and industrial-scale power generation (distributed power).  Sheridan said there is a good market for backup power systems for telecoms in places like India, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, where power grids are unreliable.  One challenge for these systems is having a local source of hydrogen, which is typically made from natural gas. Ballard solved the problem at the end of July with the $7.7 million acquisition of a reforming technology made by IdaTech that produces hydrogen from water and methanol. Ballard can now market backup power systems with built-in hydrogen fuel making capabilities.  Earlier this year, Ballard said it expected 2012 would be the year it broke even on $100 million in revenue. But a delay in an order for fuel cell stacks for buses in Brazil forced the company to adjust its guidance in June; it now expects to end the year with a $5 million loss.

"We still think there's a great market in Brazil for fuel cell buses, but we're no longer counting on it for this year," Sheridan said. "Long story made short, it's taking us a lot longer than we thought."

Sheridan acknowledges the investor fatigue that results from yet another missed target.

"Is our share price undervalued today? We think it is, but we've got to prove that. We've got to generate earnings and grow. If we do that successfully, we'll be rewarded in the equity markets. If we don't, we'll be an historical footnote along the way."

For the full article from Business in Vancouver, Click here


Hydrogenics and European Consortium of Partners launch 39 Megawatt-Hour Grid Connected Renewable Energy Storage Project in Europe

July 27, 2012
Hydrogenics and European Consortium of Partners launch 39 Megawatt-Hour Grid Connected Renewable Energy Storage Project in Europe

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada - July 23, 2012 - Hydrogenics Corporation (NASDAQ: HYGS; TSX: HYG), a leading developer and manufacturer of hydrogen generation and power systems, today announced that the Company as part of a consortium of 7 partners  has successfully kicked off the INGRID project, a major  research and development  and demonstration project with an overall budget of 23.9M Euros. The project will be funded with a financial contribution of 13.8M Euro by the European Commission within the Seventh Framework Programme for European Research and Innovation and will take four years to complete. The government funds will be used to offset Hydrogenics research and product development costs over the four year duration of the project.

Consortium members include Engineering Ingegneria Informatica, the largest privately owned Italian ICT technology provider and coordinator of this project, Agenzia per la tecnologia e l'Innovazione (ARTI, Puglia, Italy), which represents the operational arm of Puglia regional authority for the innovation and technology transfer, Enel Distribuzione, Italy's largest electricity distribution company, Hydrogenics (Belgium), the leading provider of hydrogen generators, the French McPhy Energy SA a leader in innovative technologies for solid and safe hydrogen storage, and the research institutions Ricerca sul Sistema Energetico (RSE, Italy), leader in research projects in the field of power generation, transmission and distribution and  TECNALIA (Spain).

The core innovation of the INGRID project will consist of combining solid-state high-density hydrogen storage systems and electrolysis with advanced ICT technologies for smart distribution grids monitoring and control in a scenario of high penetration of renewable energy sources in order to balance power supply and demand.

The consortium will design, build, deploy and operate a 39 MWh energy storage facility in the Puglia region in Italy using McPhy hydrogen-based solid state storage and Hydrogenics electrolysis technology and fuel cell power systems. This region currently has an installed base of over 3,500 MW of solar, wind, and biomass energy systems. The solid state hydrogen energy storage installation is capable of safely storing more than 1 ton of hydrogen -the largest ever built, and includes a novel fast responding 1.2 MW hydrogen generator. The installation will provide effective and smart balancing support for the local grid managed by Enel Distribuzione. Several potential value streams for the  generated carbon-neutral hydrogen will be investigated.

All consortium partners are delighted to be part of this important energy storage project which further substantiates the enabling position of hydrogen technologies for renewable energy integration. The importance that the EU places on hydrogen technologies as a solutionfor utility-scale energy storage needs, today and into the future, is gratifying for the companies involved. The proven technologies at the core of INGRID Project are well positioned to enable greater renewable power generation around the world.

About Hydrogenics:

Hydrogenics Corporation is a world leader in engineering and building the technologies required to enable the acceleration of a global power shift. Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Hydrogenics provides hydrogen generation, energy storage and hydrogen power modules to its customers and partners around the world. Hydrogenics has manufacturing sites in  Germany, Belgium and Canada and service centres in Russia, China, India, Europe, the US and Canada.



This release contains forward-looking statements and other statements concerning Hydrogenics objectives and strategies and managements beliefs,  plans, estimates and intentions about its achievements, future results, goals, levels of activity, performance, and other future events. Hydrogenics believes the expectations reflected in its forward-looking statements are reasonable, although cannot guarantee achievements, future results,  levels of activity, performance, or other future events.  These statements are based on the  managements current expectations and actual results may differ from these forward-looking statements due to numerous factors. Readers should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.  Readers are encouraged to review the section captioned 'Risk Factors' in Hydrogenics regulatory filings with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, for a more complete discussion of the factors that could affect the  foregoing forward-looking statements.  Furthermore, the forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this release,  and Hydrogenics undertakes no obligations to revise or update any forward-looking statements in order to reflect events or circumstances that  may arise after the date of this release, unless otherwise required by law. The forward-looking statements contained in this release are expressly  qualified by this cautionary statement.

For the full article click here


Ballard Acquires IdaTech’s Backup Power System Product Lines, IP and Customer Base

July 27, 2012
Ballard Acquires IdaTech’s Backup Power System Product Lines, IP and Customer Base

VANCOUVER, CANADA– Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP)(TSX: BLD) today announced signing of an agreement to acquire key assets from IdaTech, including the Company’s fuel cell product lines for backup power applications, distributor and customer relationships, as well as a license to intellectual property. Payment for the acquisition of these assets will be made through the issuance of $7.7 million of Ballard common shares, at a price of US$1.08 per share. The shares will subsequently be transferred to IdaTech’s principal funder, Investec, a South African specialist bank and asset management company ( The transaction is expected to close on or about July 31, subject to TSX approval and other closing conditions.

Ballard has worked closely with IdaTech over the past several years, supplying fuel cell stacks for its systems, as IdaTech has developed markets, built key customer relationships and proven the commercial robustness of its direct hydrogen and methanol fuelled products. IdaTech’s methanol fuelled product line has proven its strong value proposition to customers such as AXIS in Indonesia, Telcel in Mexico and Vodacom in South Africa. These markets, which require frequent and extended run time backup power, have seen a strong preference by IdaTech’s customers for deployments of methanol fuel cell systems to replace traditional diesel generators.

John Sheridan, Ballard President and CEO said, “This transaction gives Ballard key benefits immediately, both financial and strategic. Financially, the transaction is expected to be accretive for Ballard’s revenue, EBITDA and cash flow in 2012 and beyond. Strategically, it provides Ballard with additional product capabilities with methanol fuelled systems and key customer relationships in leading markets for fuel cell commercialization, such as Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America as well as South Africa.”

South Africa is a market of special interest for fuel cell commercialization. Ballard has already delivered fuel cell systems to Anglo American Platinum Limited for demonstration in large scale backup power and mining locomotive applications. In addition, Ballard is working with Anglo American on development of a fuel cell home generator. And, following this asset purchase, Ballard will be working with existing IdaTech customers in South Africa, with whom more than 150 systems have already been deployed.

Investec has agreed to hold the majority of the Ballard shares issued under the transaction for a minimum period of 12 months, demonstrating its continuing support for the commercialization of fuel cells, with particular interest in South Africa, where Investec is a high profile and leading financial institution with a commitment to transformation initiatives.

Stephen Koseff, Investec Group CEO said, “Sustainability for Investec is about endurance and the interdependence of the three key areas of profit, people and planet. This transaction clearly aligns with that philosophy. And, we are excited to be directly involved with a market leader in Ballard, the fuel cell company best positioned to work with existing customers and to expand the base of installed fuel cell systems.”

The common shares to be issued in the proposed transaction have not been registered under the Securities Act, or applicable state securities laws, and accordingly may not be offered or sold in the United States except pursuant to an effective registration statement or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act and such applicable state securities laws.

About Ballard Power Systems
Ballard Power Systems (TSX: BLD) (NASDAQ: BLDP) provides clean energy fuel cell products enabling optimized power systems for a range of applications. Products deliver incomparable performance, durability and versatility. To learn more about Ballard, please visit

This release contains forward-looking statements concerning the financial and strategic benefits of the transaction. These forward-looking statements reflect Ballard’s current expectations as contemplated under section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Any such forward-looking statements are based on Ballard’s assumptions relating to its financial forecasts and expectations regarding its product development efforts, manufacturing capacity, and market demand and include the Company’s expectations regarding the potential benefits of the proposed transaction and the timing and success of future product development efforts.

These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause Ballard’s actual results to be materially different, including general economic and regulatory changes, detrimental reliance on third parties, successfully achieving our business plans and achieving and sustaining profitability. For a detailed discussion of these and other risk factors that could affect Ballard’s future performance, please refer to Ballard’s most recent Annual Information Form. Readers should not place undue reliance on Ballard’s forward-looking statements and Ballard assumes no obligation to update or release any revisions to these forward looking statements, other than as required under applicable legislation.

For the full article, click here

Contact: Guy McAree +1.604.412.7919, or


Government of Canada funds research and development at Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

July 24, 2012
Government of Canada funds research and development at Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, announces that Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) has been granted funding to improve the facilities of the Institut de recherche sur l'hydrogène (IRH) it founded in 1994. This financial assistance will enable UQTR to build a hydrogen fuelling station, an essential infrastructure to carry out research and technology transfer projects involving the production, storage and use of hydrogen as an energy source to power, among other things, utility vehicles and various stationary applications.

For the full article click here



July 19, 2012
MERCEDES-BENZ SELECTS PLUG POWER FUEL CELL TECHNOLOGY FOR LIFT TRUCK FLEET Mercedes-Benz will realize greater fleet predictability and flexibility with the use of GenDrive hydrogen fuel cells units.  The GenDrive units will replace lead-acid batteries, which require space-consuming charging areas and an expensive maintenance infrastructure. Compact hydrogen stations provided by Air Products (NYSE: APD) will be located onsite for a more efficient refueling process. As it grows its operations, Mercedes-Benz can add fuel cells to its fleet, without the need to invest in additional batteries, charging space or dedicated employees.
“Mercedes-Benz is an exciting customer to add to Plug Power’s growing list of fuel cell adopters,” said Andy Marsh, CEO at Plug Power. “We intend to prove the value of GenDrive fuel cells in Tuscaloosa in order to reinforce the benefits experienced in auto-manufacturing facilities across North America.”
Unlike the incumbent technology, GenDrive is powered by hydrogen, ensuring a constant flow of power to the truck and fueling cycle that takes just minutes. Lead-acid batteries need to be changed, charged, stored and maintained, a process that is timely and involves costly infrastructure. With this conversion, Mercedes-Benz is able to eliminate its battery room and open that valuable floor space up for storing and moving product. Finally, because GenDrive is powered by hydrogen, a clean-energy fuel, only heat and water are generated as byproducts of electricity creation.
Plug Power has shipped and commissioned the full unit order.
To see the full article, click here

Hydrogen Fueling Stations Open in Norway and Switzerland

June 21, 2012
Hydrogen Fueling Stations Open in Norway and Switzerland

Shift Power I Energize Oslo

Last month, the city of Oslo,  Norway inaugurated a hydrogen fueling station which uses two Hydrogenics HySTAT™ Electrolyzers to convert renewable electricity to hydrogen fuel. The launch was hosted by the Mayor of Akershus County, Nils Aage Jegstad, in coorporation with the Vice Mayor for Environment and Transport in Oslo, Ola Elvestuen and The Managing Director of Ruter, Bernt Reitan Jenssen. Ruters, a public transport company made the investment, backed by both European (under the CHIC project) and National funding.  The construction of the station was awarded to Air Liquide who will operate and maintain the site for 5 years. Hydrogenics supplied two HySTAT™ 60 Electrolyzers that produce hydrogen fuel from water and electricity. This station has a total capacity of 260kg/day which will be used to fuel 5 Van Hool buses which are now onsite and will be operating on a normal transit line from the Roseholm bus to the Royal Palace. It is anticipated that the 13 meter-long buses will run between 400,000 and 450,000 kms over the next 5 years.  Electricity at the station is guaranteed to come from 100% renewable energy sources.


Shift Power I Energize Brügg (Aargau)

On May 22nd, Carbagas AG a fully owned subsidiary of Air Liquide officially opened a hydrogen fueling station near Zurich, Switzerland equipped with a Hydrogenics HySTAT™ Electrolyzer.  The HySTAT™ is capable of providing 130kg/day of renewable hydrogen at 350bar.  Based at the PostAuto bus garage in Brugg (35km north west of Zurich) the station supplies hydrogen fuel to 5 Citaro FuelCell buses which will be used in regular public transport. Post Auto is the largest public bus operator in  Switzerland with over 2,000 vehicles in operation. Postauto made the investment, backed by both European funding (under the CHIC project) and National funding.


Mercedes-Benz Opens World's First Automated Fuel Cell Manufacturing Plant in Vancouver, Canada

June 21, 2012
Mercedes-Benz Opens World's First Automated Fuel Cell Manufacturing Plant in Vancouver, Canada

Canada's world-leading reputation in fuel cell research and manufacturing took a giant leap forward today in Vancouver with the opening of the world's first automated fuel cell manufacturing plant by Mercedes-Benz Canada, a decisive investment by the German auto giant in Canada's Vancouver-based fuel cell cluster. The plant will manufacture fuel cells in Canada to be shipped to Germany and included in Mercedes-Benz's new F-Cell cars to be available in 2014.

Today's plant opening falls on the heels of an announcement earlier this week in Germany that the critical infrastructure needed for refueling stations will be accelerated in Germany. The German government, Mercedes-Benz and Linde have agreed to fund and build the first 50 German refueling stations to coincide with Mercedes-Benz's roll out of commercially available fuel cell cars in 2014.

The automated facility dedicated to the production of fuel cell stacks is located in the Vancouver  suburb of Burnaby, British Columbia, where Mercedes already has an automotive fuel cell research and development centre in partnership with Ballard Power and Ford. Mercedes-Benz's new facility is also close in proximity to the head office for Ballard Power amongst other companies.

The decision for Mercedes-Benz to locate its $50 million plant in Burnaby, over Europe, Detroit or California, was a strategic one to capitalize on  Greater Vancouver's  fuel cell cluster and the required infrastructure available here for such a facility. The plant will work closely with the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation (AFCC) and the many related companies and research institutes in the province, including the National Research Council of Canada's Fuel Cell Research Institute and BC universities.

The Canadian fuel cell sector and Mercedes-Benz celebrated the official opening today at the new plant, where state-of-the-art robotics and custom-designed manufacturing equipment combine to produce fuel cells at a rapid rate.

The 3,300 square meter facility will also develop and optimize the technology required for eventual full-series production, not to mention the continued research that will be done in the further development of the fuel cell stacks themselves.

Today's ceremony included guests from industry, academia and government. Speakers included:


Minister Pat Bell, British Columbia Minister for Jobs, Tourism and Innovation

John Sheridan, CEO and President, Ballard

Tim Reuss, President and CEO, Mercedes-Benz Canada

Dieter Steegmuller, Director Material and Process Engineering, Mercedes-Benz Canada

Ian Potter, VP Engineering, National Research Council

To view videos of this facility, click here.

To view photos of the Mercedes-Benz fuel cell stack, click here

To view photos of Mercedes-Benz F-Cell car, click here


Mercedes-Benz fuel cell plant creates 50 new jobs

June 21, 2012
Mercedes-Benz fuel cell plant creates 50 new jobs

BURNABY – Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Minister Pat Bell participated in the grand opening of the Mercedes-Benz fuel cell production and technology development facility in Burnaby today, which is providing 50 new jobs for B.C. families.

British Columbia was chosen as the home of the new facility, beating out some of the world’s largest automotive manufacturing centres: Detroit, California, Stuttgart and Ontario. In the end, it was B.C.’s reputation for excellence in fuel cell research, as well as our existing infrastructure for fuel cell development, that gave our province the edge.

In fact, this Mercedes-Benz investment in our province has confirmed B.C.’s long-held distinction, shared by industry insiders, as the number-one place for fuel cell technology development in the world.

As promised in March 2011, Mercedes-Benz has transformed a 3,300 square-metre section of a Ballard Power facility in Burnaby in a seven-month timeframe, a new record for the company. The first fuel cell stack was produced on June 7 of this year.

The company has invested $53 million in the new plant. In collaboration with B.C.’s world-class fuel cell research and development cluster, Mercedes-Benz is working toward reducing the cost of fuel cell technology for future generations.


Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation – “B.C.’s greatest resource is our people, and nowhere is that more apparent than in our fuel cell development sector.”

“The Mercedes-Benz investment in our province is a huge vote of confidence in B.C.’s future and an enormous opportunity to stay ahead of the curve in the development of this important technology.”

Tim A.
Reuss, president and CEO, Mercedes-Benz Canada –
“Our company has always had an unwavering commitment to innovation, and we recognize that this same spirit exists here in British Columbia.”

“We applaud the province’s multi-faceted, forward-thinking approach that has encouraged the concentration of many brilliant minds focused on research and development in this region. There is no better place to open the world’s first facility dedicated to the production and production technology development of fuel cell stacks.”

Connect with the Province of B.C. at:


Minister Fast Welcomes New Job-Creating Investments by Leading German Companies Mercedes-Benz and K+S

June 21, 2012
Minister Fast Welcomes New Job-Creating Investments by Leading German Companies Mercedes-Benz and K+S

Low taxes, world-leading Economic Action Plan, and skilled workforce solidify Canada as an investment destination of choice, Minister says

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Tradeand Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today highlighted Canada’s strongeconomic fundamentals and world-leading investment advantages by welcominginvestments in Canada by two prominent German companies. Mercedes-Benz Canada,Inc., a subsidiary of Daimler AG, today officially opened the world’s first automotive facility dedicated to the production and production technology development of fuel-cell stacks. Earlier this week, K+S marked the official groundbreaking of its new potash mine, the Legacy Project, near Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

“I congratulate Mercedes and K+S for choosing to invest in Canada and creating more than 1,000 new jobs for hard-working Canadians,” said Minister Fast. “These investments represent significant milestones in two important and growing sectors of Canada’s economy. They are also testimony to the strong trade and investment ties between Germany and Canada. With Canada’s solid economic fundamentals, skilled workforce and pro-trade, low-tax environment, our government’s economic policies have made Canada an investment destination of choice, which is creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadian workers and their families.”

“We are proud to locate our new fuel-cell stack production and production technology development facility in Canada,” said Tim A. Reuss, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada. “Considering the concentration of fuel-cell stack activities and the availability of highly skilled knowledge workers, there is no better place in the world to bring together the development and production of fuel-cell stacks as we work toward the commercialization of this advanced zero local emission technology.”

Canada’s hydrogen and fuel-cell sector is a global centre of expertise and is recognized internationally for its capabilities in research, development and early-stage commercialization. According to the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Sector Profile 2012, revenue in the sector more than doubled from $97 million in 2001 to $211 million in 2011; employment increased by 14 percent from 1,772 jobs in 2001 to 2,025 in 2011, showing continued job growth in this sector. The Government of Canada provides strong support to the sector through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Western Economic Diversification Canada, as well as the world-class research infrastructure provided by the National Research Council of Canada.

“We believe the Legacy Project is an investment in the future of our company, an investment in the people of Saskatchewan and an investment in a sustainable future,”  said Norbert Steiner, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of K+S, whose company is building the first new potash mine in Saskatchewan in nearly 40 years. “The Legacy Project will mean new job opportunities for Saskatchewan workers and new business opportunities for Canadian companies supplying goods and services to this major economic development. With the growing global demand for potash, we recognize the value of investing in a country with a business-friendly environment and stable economy.”

Canada is the largest producer of potash in the world; more than 4,000 people are employed in the sector. In 2011, potash was once again Canada's top-ranked mineral commodity by value of production, with shipments totalling $8 billion. Production volumes reached a new historical record in 2011, up 13.5 percent over 2010, as a result of growing global demand for potash (data from Natural Resources Canada’s Mineral Production Information Bulletin, March 2012).

In 2011, the Harper government’s investment promotion efforts helped attract 155 foreign businesses and expansion projects worth more than $20 billion to the Canadian economy. More than 7,500 new jobs were created as a result.

Canada’s trade commissioner service (TCS) assisted both German corporations throughout the development of these two investments. The TCS is located in more than 150 cities worldwide and in regional offices across Canada.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Rudy Husny

Press Secretary

Office of the Honourable Ed Fast

Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway


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