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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Fuel Cells Firing Up Homes & Stocks

Australia’s Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited listed on the Alternative Investment Market this week. CFCL makes solid oxide fuel cells for use in combined heat and power (CHP) applications. The company’s plan is to capitalize on the attractive subsidies for residential CHP systems in Europe by locating a plant in the north of England. In the meantime, Ceramic Fuel Cells is diversifying its revenue streams. It has just partnered with Precision Flow Technologies to manufacture and market fuel cell test systems.

What is notable about this initial public offering is the number of large investors. Over 90 institutional investors participated in the oversubscribed deal, which raised $65 million. All in all, investors were in love with residential fuel cells this week, an early commercial market. Ballard Power Systems was trading high ahead of reporting a 1 1/2 fold increase in sales to the power generation market. It markets the leading natural gas powered fuel cell used in residential cogeneration applications in Japan. Ballard’s 1kw fuel cell captured 43% of the Japanese market in 2005.

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