Britain's Rolls-Royce and a Singapore government linked consortium, announced on April 6 a $100 million venture to develop environmentally friendly power generators for the mass global market. The system would be based on fuel cell technology, which generates electricity by combining fuel and air in an electrochemical reaction similar to a conventional battery. Fuel cell-based generators are more efficient, emit less pollutants and create less noise and vibration than conventional gas or diesel-fired plants.
Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems Ltd. (RRFCS), a subsidiary of the Rolls-Royce Plc, and a Singapore consortium called EnerTek Singapore Pte. Ltd., are to jointly develop the technology. RRFCS chairman Charles Coltman said a pilot plant for the technology was currently being built in Britain, while the site of the plant to be used in the mass production would be decided later based on market needs.
Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore's second minister for trade and industry, said global demand for fuel cell systems was expected to reach $15.1 billion by 2015. "In an era of high oil prices, there will be a premium on energy efficiency, energy conservation," Balakrishnan said. "And in this world which is very concerned about global warming, any new technology which reduces carbon emissions should be explored and welcomed to the market. So our approach is to explore all these options."
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005