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Posco Energy tie-up with FCE faces hurdle

Dec. 11, 2019 - 17:40 By Cho Chung-un
An envisioned joint venture between Posco Energy and US-based FuelCell Energy is making little progress due to mutual differences, an industry insider said Wednesday.

The energy unit of steel giant Posco produces molten carbonate fuel cell -- dubbed a second-generation technology -- with technology transferred from the US company. 

Posco Energy`s fuel cell manufacturing plant in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province

FuelCell Energy CEO Jason Few was in Seoul to discuss the JV proposal. The talks, however, ended without any agreement, sources noted.

The two had signed a memorandum of understanding on manufacturing an advanced version of MCFC at an unspecified date.

Though the MOU has no legal obligation, FuelCell’s “sudden change of stance” undermines their partnership and Posco Energy’s efforts to maintain leadership in the fuel cell energy market here, the sources said.

Posco Energy currently holds around 40 percent of the market share.

FuelCell Energy, headquartered in Connecticut, could not be reached for comment.

As a strategic partner, Posco Energy had 2.9 percent stake in FuelCell Energy, but it sold nearly 70 percent of its shares -- 1.8 million -- in November last year and January this year. Currently, it holds less than 1 percent stake in the US company.