Canadian Manufacturing

Ballard unloads methanol backup power unit for as much as $6.1M

Taiwanese power equipment firm buys intellectual property rights, inventory



VANCOUVER—Fuel cell maker Ballard Power Systems has agreed to sell off its methanol telecom backup power business to a Taiwanese power equipment company.

Chung-Hsin Electric & Machinery Manufacturing Corp. (CHEM) will pay $3 million upfront for certain Ballard assets, as well as up to $3.1 million more based on sales.

“We see a significant market opportunity for methanol fuel cell backup power solutions in numerous geographic markets,” Eric Chiang, CHEM’s chairman, said. “The methanol fuel cell backup power business built by Ballard includes a strong product, customer list, sales pipeline and ecosystem.”

Chiang added that CHEM plans to use its manufacturing capacity and its relationships in Asia to accelerate the technology’s adoption.

The Burnaby, B.C.-based cleantech firm said the sale includes intellectual property rights as well as physical assets, such as inventory. The Taiwanese company will also take on a number of engineering, sales and service employees involved in the West Coast company’s methanol backup power business.

Along with the upfront payment and $3.1 million sales-reliant payout, CHEM has agreed to buy fuel cell stacks exclusively from Ballard over an unspecified period of time, which will net the Canadian company at least $2 million.

Ballard had previously announced it was conducting a review of its methanol backup unit, looking for ways to reduce costs.

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