Vancouver, Canada | News Release — On March 11th a delegation of South African Government officials, led by Godfrey Oliphant, Deputy Minister at the Department of Mineral Resources, visited Ballard Power Systems’ fuel cell headquarters and production facility as part of a recent trip to Canada to promote trade and investment opportunities in South Africa.
Deputy Minister Oliphant said, “We are very pleased by Ballard’s recent progress with a number of exciting fuel cell initiatives in South Africa. Fuel cells, and the platinum used to manufacture them, will enable growth of the South African economy and improvement in the standard of living for all citizens in our country.”
During the visit to Ballard the delegation of high ranking officials from the Department of Mineral Resources were also joined by members of South Africa’s High Commission, along with executives from Platinum Group Metals, an innovative Vancouver-based Company with plans to begin mining platinum later this year in South Africa.
South Africa holds 75% of the world’s supply of platinum, which is a key component of Ballard’s proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell products. Platinum-based PEM fuel cells provide a significant economic and environmental development opportunity for South Africa by facilitating the provision of clean, reliable and cost-effective energy.
Ballard remains committed to supporting development of the South African fuel cell industry, including the Company’s continued trialing and sale of both early-stage and commercial products designed to address energy issues in a number of application areas.
Ballard is collaborating today with companies in South Africa on a number of applications of PEM fuel cell technology, including:
• Supply of fuel cell systems to provide backup power in the event of grid outages, for the Vodacom wireless telecom network;
• Trial of fuel cell-powered underground mining locomotives with Anglo American Platinum; and
• One-year trial of a fuel cell and battery hybrid system that is providing primary power for 34 homes in the off-grid Naledi Trust community of Kroonstad – this project also involves more than 10 local South African companies, in addition to Anglo American Platinum and power utility Eskom, as well as South Africa’s Department of Energy.