Bosch will pay £38m to increase its stake from 4 per cent to 18 per cent in UK fuel cell maker Ceres.
The company will use some of the money to start building fuel cells, from 30kW to 200kW, taking its technology into more industrial and commercial applications.
Ceres will also examine the potential for electrolysis applications – reversing fuel cells to produce hydrogen and e-fuels from renewable energy, seen as critical to producing clean hydrogen without requiring carbon capture and storage.
According to the company: “High temperature electrolysis can potentially play a significant role in the decarbonisation of the “hard-to-abate” sectors like steel, other industrial heat consumers and even aviation. The board believes that there is significant future value associated with this opportunity.”
Ceres added that initial results of electrolysis trials have been “encouraging.”
More money, more capacity
Bosch paid £9m for a 4.4. per cent stake in the Horsham-based firm in August 2018 and agreed to pay licence fees worth around £20m over two years. Last year Bosch commenced low volume production of Ceres’ steel oxide-based technology.
Ceres also counts Weichai Power as a significant shareholder (20 per cent), with whom it is developing a 30kW range extender for buses in China. It also has partnerships with Doosan, Nissan, Honda, Cummins and Miura, which is using its technology for a CHP system in commercial buildings in Japan.
According to latest filings, licensing agreements pushed the firm’s revenue and other operating income up 133 per cent to £16.4 million for the year to 30 June 2019 while it pared losses 33 per cent to £7.9m.
The company’s Redhill manufacturing facility is scheduled to start producing units this month. Part of the Bosch cash is earmarked to increase capacity from 2MW to 3MW by the end of this year.