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Press Release

NGK SPARK PLUG and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Conclude
an Agreement for the establishment of a Joint Venture
to Manufacture and Sell Fuel high-performance Cell Stacks

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd.

Nagoya and Yokohama, July 5, 2019 - NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD. (NTK) and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd. (MHPS) have concluded an agreement regarding establishment of a joint venture and the operation of a company to manufacture and sell cylindrical cell stacks(Note1) as the power generating elements found in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC)(Note2).

Fuel cells are widely expected to be utilized as clean energy devices for commercial and industrial use, and are considered a solution for future energy and environmental issues. NTK and MHPS concluded a business partnership agreement in June 2014 for the mass production of cylindrical cell stacks, and of recent time, have been pursing joint development. The integration of NTK's mass production technologies for ceramics and MHPS' cylindrical cell stack design technologies, which allow for long life and heat utilization, has resulted in the commercial development of high-performance cylindrical cell stacks.

Going forward, NTK will establish a preparatory company, with a joint venture company to be established following examination by competition authorities.

Outline of the JV Company (Planned)

The two companies are currently in discussions for the joint venture. The following is the structure being considered at present.

(1) Name TBD
(2) Location Komaki, Aichi Prefecture
(3) Representative TBD
(4) Description of Business Manufacture and sale of cylindrical
horizontal-stripe cell stacks
(5) Capitalization 300 million yen
(6) Investment Ratio NTK 70%, MHPS 30%
(7) Start of Business October 1, 2019
  1. Cylindrical fuel stacks are structures of elements (laminate of fuel electrodes, electrolytes, and air electrodes) on the outer surface of a high-strength ceramic substrate tube, which produce a power-generating reaction. The elements are serially connected by a conductive ceramic interconnector (cylindrical horizontal-stripe cell stack), allowing for efficient generation of low current, high voltage electricity.
  2. Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) generate electricity using oxygen (O₂) from the air, along with hydrogen (H₂) and carbon monoxide (CO) extracted from reformed town gas or other sources. The cell stacks that are the core component for power generation are composed entirely of ceramic.
Joint venture signing ceremony
Joint venture signing ceremony
Left side: NTK President & Chief Operating Officer Takeshi Kawai
Right side: MHPS Executive Vice President Taiji Yoshida