AFC Energy and Industrial Chemicals to instal the UK’s largest fuel cell energy facility

The project is expected to create a significant number of UK jobs.

New Statesman
The stationary fuel cell industry is forecast to create 500,000 jobs globally over the next decade. Credit: Getty Images

AFC Energy and Industrial Chemicals Limited (ICL) have agreed to instal the UK’s largest fuel cell facility to generate clean energy.

The new facility, which will use hydrogen to generate power, will be installed in phases at ICL’s chlor-alkali plant, using AFC’s low-cost alkaline fuel cell system and will have an electrical output approaching 1MWe.

Both companies are seeking grants from UK and European funding channels for the project, which is expected to create a significant number of UK jobs in the long term.

Ian Williamson, CEO of AFC Energy, said:

We are very pleased to be working with ICL in this groundbreaking commercial-scale development, which will put British fuel cell technology and innovation on a global stage. I have previously emphasised our goal to move to a commercial demonstration phase for our technology and ICL have now provided the perfect opportunity for us to demonstrate commercial electricity supply. We now need the funding agencies to step up to the challenge and support our vision.

Darren Sharpe, energy projects manager at ICL, said:

Alongside the development of our new chlor-alkali facility, we have reviewed a number of fuel cell systems and other technologies that could be used to generate electrical power from the hydrogen that is produced as part of the chlor-alkali process. We have been impressed with the potential of AFC Energy’s alkaline fuel cell system, the suitability of the system to operate with the chlor-alkali process, the focus on commercial economics and the sheer pace of development we have witnessed at AFC Energy to further the capabilities of their fuel cell technology.

The prospect of developing a fuel cell capable of producing 1MWe of clean electrical power from hydrogen that would otherwise be waste from the Chlor-alkali process is exciting in terms of technology advancement together with commercial savings on energy cost, distribution and supplier charges. ICL looks forward to working with AFC Energy and benefiting from the potential a large scale fuel cell system offers, and we hope that between us we can secure grant funding to accelerate the commercial demonstration of this technology.