Nuvera and Mitsui sign MOU to develop fuel cells in Japan

Companies take steps toward creating new entity that will supply fuel cell power modules to the Japanese premium power, residential, and commercial markets

    Cambridge, Massachusetts (ots-PRNewswire) - Nuvera Fuel Cells, Inc., and Mitsui & Co., Ltd., today announced they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create a joint venture company that will, in its initial phase, conduct a feasibility study for the production and distribution of fuel cell systems for the Japanese market. Upon completion of the feasibility study, the parties, with additional Japanese partners, expect to develop, manufacture, market, distribute, and service integrated fuel cell power systems designed for premium power, residential, and commercial applications.

    Nuvera's role in the new venture will be to develop prototype fuel cell power modules and systems for field tests in Japan and to support the feasibility study. Mitsui intends to investigate the Japanese market opportunities, create a marketing strategy, obtain the necessary licensing permits in the region, identify promising partnerships with manufacturers, packagers, distributors, and/or marketers of fuel cells, and create opportunities to test and evaluate Nuvera's prototype fuel cell systems.

    "We have long viewed the Japanese market as a favourable market for fuel cells," said Mark Brodsky, President and CEO of Nuvera Fuel Cells. "Whereas some fuel cell companies have established sales agreements in Japan, our strategy involves creating stronger, long-lasting relationships with partners. Through our joint venture with Mitsui, we gain access to one of Japan's oldest and most respected institutions that has the technical reach and established business channels to help us advance the commercialisation of fuel cells and meet Japan's growing energy demands. This venture builds on the 30-year relationship our largest shareholder, Gruppo De Nora, has maintained with Mitsui -- a relationship that is also one of the oldest joint ventures in Japan today."

    Nuvera's integrated fuel cell power systems, which include a fuel processor and a fuel cell, are being designed to provide power to homes, office buildings, convenience stores, and other stationary applications. Natural gas and propane will be the primary fuels used to power these systems initially. Further studies are planned to determine the feasibility of using Nuvera's multi-fuel capability to utilise kerosene, ethanol, and diesel as fuel sources.

    "Fuel cells represent one of the world's great innovations whose time has come," said Toshiyuki Hayashi, General Manager of Mitsui's Industrial Machinery Division. "Mitsui is pleased to have the opportunity to work with Nuvera and explore the fuel cell market in Japan. It is our belief that, together, we can combine our individual strengths - our breadth of technical knowledge, business know-how, and global reach - to generate clean, efficient, and reliable energy using fuel cell technology."

    Fuel cells generate electricity by converting the chemical energy of hydrogen and air (oxygen) into electrical energy. The by-products of this process are water vapour and heat.

    About Nuvera

    Nuvera Fuel Cells, Inc., ( is a designer and developer of fuel processors, fuel cell stacks, and integrated fuel cell systems for stationary and transportation applications. Its fuel processors and proton exchange membrane, or PEM, fuel cell stacks have been successfully tested and evaluated by major automobile and appliance manufacturers, research institutions, and industrial and energy companies. Nuvera's fuel processors have demonstrated the ability to extract hydrogen from a number of commonly available hydrocarbon fuels, including gasoline, ethanol, methanol, natural gas, kerosene, propane, butane, home heating oil, and diesel. Nuvera was formed in April 2000 through the merger of De Nora Fuel Cells S.p.A., the fuel cell division of the Italian engineering concern Gruppo De Nora, and Epyx Corporation, the fuel processing division of the American business and technology consulting firm Arthur D. Little, Inc. The two companies have built and tested approximately 38 fuel processors and 310 fuel cell stacks over the last 10 years. Nuvera maintains corporate and operational facilities in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Milan, Italy.

    About Mitsui

    Mitsui & Co., Ltd., ( is an international "business creator" offering value-added services to clients worldwide. The firm's 17 operating groups oversee a broad range of products, and have the knowledge and experience to best serve the ever-changing needs of the global marketplace. Mitsui is one of Japan's leading sogo shosha, or general trading companies, with total trading transactions of 13,200.7 billion yen for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2000. Since its founding in 1947, Mitsui has helped to drive the development of the Japanese economy and has contributed to the growth of many other economies around the world by creating new trade flows and making business investments in new enterprises and industrial sectors.

ots Originaltext: Nuvera

Robert Derby of Elevista (for Nuvera), phone +1 617-498-6732,
+1 508 393 2528, e-mail:,;
or Gianfranco Mora of Gruppo De Nora, phone +39 (02) 21 29 23 69,
e-mail:; or Kazuhiro Nagoya of
Mitsui & Co., Ltd., phone +81 3 3285 4217


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