AFC Energy Plc - Year End Operational Update
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AFC Energy PLC
("AFC Energy" or the "Company")
Year End Operational Statement -
AFC Energy (AIM: AFC), a leading provider of hydrogen power generation technologies, is pleased to provide its Year End Operating Statement for the year ended
· First commercial agreements signed with >
· Commercial pipeline at different stages of development, growing across initial key target markets.
· Successfully completed oversubscribed fundraise of
· Launch of Extreme E's all electric off-road 2021 racing series in
· Key milestones being met for on-schedule delivery of first commercial system to Extreme E in
· Working with world leading OEMs and partners in advancement of the H-Power system adoption within integrated off-grid power and ultra-rapid EV charging solutions.
· Sale of bespoke 100kW H-Power fuel cell system to Forschungszentrum Jülich ("Jülich") at its Living Lab Energy Campus ("LLEC") showcase in
· Announced in
· First delivery of AlkaMem® membrane samples to industrial and research partners under Material Transfer Agreements in non-fuel cell applications.
· AlkaMem® results to date continue to confirm compatibility with market leading alkaline electrolyser separators across several key performance metrics - potentially creating access to the fast-growing green hydrogen electrolyser component market.
· Presentation of AlkaMem® anion exchange membrane technology to industry at the Fraunhofer Society in
· Progression towards delivery of a large-scale assembly site for AFC Energy system build and integration in advance of multi-system orders.
· Commenced recruitment programme in line with the Fundraise use of proceeds, to strengthen commercial and technical capability in support of system deployment
· Successful concluded the "Dunsfold to
· Launched in
· No furloughing or staff redundancies during COVID-19 lockdown with minimal interruption to onsite activities.
Whilst the last twelve months have seen challenging economic, political and social issues that are severely impacting our society and livelihoods, the importance of Hydrogen as a means of addressing one of those key challenges, climate change, has heightened the sector and the intrinsic commercial opportunities for AFC Energy across key markets.
In response to COVID-19 lockdowns, economic stimulus packages across the world have highlighted the need to "Build Back Better" and through this, billions of dollars are now being dedicated to the growth and establishment of the Hydrogen economy.
During 2020, we have developed many commercial enquiries and generated new and important partnering opportunities through OEMs and global energy companies who see their role across the Hydrogen value chain as increasingly important in delivering the Net Zero aspirations of their own customer base.
To this end, AFC Energy has continued, throughout 2020, to further develop its own technology platforms across the "L" Series, "S" Series and AlkaMem® branded product portfolio, whilst in parallel, furthering the engineering and scale up of systems where we expect to deliver our first 160kW containerised system to
(a) the delivery of projects under development such as Extreme E and ACCIONA;
(b) new H-PowerTM systems to meet emerging demand and reduce lead times for delivery;
(c) manufacturing scale-up;
(d) human capital in support of the above outcomes; and
(e) the scale-up of AlkaMem® and "S" Series high power dense fuel cell systems.
Since July, progress has been made across all fronts with further updates expected across several of these areas in due course.
The importance of the Fundraise not only gives the Company more flexibility and capability in the manner in which it engages with partners and customers, but also provides much needed funding to grow the business at a time when AFC Energy's technology solutions are increasingly seen as a viable alternative to incumbent fossil fuel combustion technologies.
First Commercial Sales
2020 saw the conclusion of AFC Energy's first commercial contracts with in excess of
For both Extreme E and Jülich's state of the art microgrid configuration integrating AFC Energy's hydrogen fuel cells in
The pipeline of opportunities under development continues to grow and the Company is now working with both prospective
With sales comes the need for re-organisational shifts towards manufacturing, commissioning, technicians and after sales staff which all falls within the current recruitment drive throughout the Company.
Extreme E is a high profile first contract for the Company which not only delivers revenue, but also tremendous marketing opportunities with a projected worldwide audience of 200 million expected to watch the race series during 2021. The race event, and AFC Energy's involvement has also given rise to new interest from temporary power markets, including global plant hire businesses, keen to find alternatives to diesel engines in some of the remotest locations and harshest climates on Earth.
We continue to work with several of these organisations to frame commercial markets bringing together turnkey solutions across upstream fueling strategies, system maintenance and commercial models for possible future global distribution. For this reason, our agreements with Extreme E and ACCIONA are key stepping stones to demonstrate the robustness, reliability and flexibility of our product in our target applications and in a global setting.
In late 2019, AFC Energy announced its core product range of H-Power systems, designed to operate within the constraints of a standard shipping container for ease of transportation and operation.
The first 20kW unit, launched in
The system we are delivering to Extreme E will utilise this core 40kW design as its basis and is a key part of the 160kW development plan. Due to the COVID-19 lock down and our funding position at the time, we took the decision to assemble the 40 kW and 160 kW units sequentially with the latter now scheduled for deployment to ACCIONA in Spring 2021.
Reviews have been made of various scale up assembly and manufacturing sites for the growth expected in fuel cell system deployment over the coming years. We are working towards a preferred solution on which we will update the market on in due course.
Adoption of ammonia as a preferred vector for the carriage of Hydrogen is also gaining momentum. We are continuing to work closely with the ammonia industry, including joining the Ammonia Energy Association as Gold Members in 2020, to further capitalise on a key selling point of the AFC Energy alkaline fuel cell system in the use of lower grade, and lower cost, Hydrogen as derived from cracking Ammonia.
At the beginning of the year we announced the re-branding of the high-power density anion exchange membrane HydroX-Cell(S). Progress continues to be made in the design, scale up and validation activities despite the fact that one particular outsourced manufacturing process had to be put on hold during lockdown due to factory closures, a risk which has now been mitigated through an alternative service provider outside of the
The power density achieved on the "S" Series fuel cell system continues to grow and compares favourably with the PEM fuel cells in the market today. Prototype systems have been designed in advance of fabrication and we are at an advanced stage of investing in the building of our new Anion Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Research Centre in
The EU electrolysis opportunity continues to grow and is expected to reach 40GW by 2030 and alkaline water electrolysis is expected to be a major contributor to this growth. We have recruited additional research scientists and sponsored a PhD student to work with a recognised leading expert in the field, to accelerate the development of AlkaMem®. We have also supplied our membrane to several industrial and academic institutions in
During the past six months, we have announced not only our first commercial customers, but also commenced working with a number of world class partners who see the value proposition of the alkaline fuel cell in applications such as construction and temporary power.
Apart from being a customer of AFC Energy, Extreme E is also a partner in the advancement of hydrogen as a sustainable fuel in delivering a Net Zero solution for remote and distributed power systems.
Extreme E has presented several early opportunities for joint marketing, but following the official season 2021 launch in late
The agreement to trial our equipment with ACCIONA on a working construction site in the Spring of 2021 underscores the international reputation of our equipment but also confirms that the use of our equipment extends beyond EV charging and is being considered as a genuine displacement of diesel generators, not only in the
Finally, our relationship with De Nora remains strong following the extension of our Joint Development Agreement in the latter part of 2019. Electrodes manufactured by De Nora will be used within all of the Extreme E, Jülich and ACCIONA projects in 2021.
Marketing and Communication
The AFC Energy web site and our annual report and RNS releases, at the appropriate times, are historically our principal communication channel with shareholders. This year has seen an increase in time and resources dedicated to communicating with potential customers including multiple advertising and in-depth articles in trade magazines, roadshows and presentations to trade associations. We have also received exposure in national press and television including Sky News, CNBC, Wall Street Journal, Daily Telegraph and New Statesman.
Other activities planned such as the British Motor Show and Shareholder meetings unfortunately have had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 but we plan to relaunch these activities at the earliest convenient opportunity. We remain committed to regular communication with the market and our investors and are in the process of adding internal resource to support this activity.
Our customer marketing efforts continue to motivate a growing number of in-bound enquiries and perhaps the best example was ACCIONA who approached us following AFC Energy's roadshow event in
As regulations pertaining to diesel generation continue to tighten, Environment, Social and Governance ("ESG") agendas become more prevalent, the rate of Electric Vehicle deployment and their required rate of charge increases, and the cost of Hydrogen continues to fall, the outlook for AFC Energy is increasingly bright.
The growing number of enquiries for our system are increasingly highlighting and validating the market opportunity for the Company in its key target markets of construction, temporary power and ultra-rapid EV charging, where we hope to be confirming a number of these relationships to the market shortly.
Hydrogen is now viewed as a firm component of the decarbonisation agenda of every developed nation and in the
The pandemic has had an obvious impact on businesses generally, which has affected the way we all operate, our supply chains and our interaction with our customers. Given the current state of the pandemic we expect such disruptions to continue for some time. However, we have demonstrated that we have been able to successfully work through these challenges and are committed to continue to do so.
AFC Energy has seen many successes over the past twelve months and as we prepare for the new opportunities presenting themselves in 2021, we are well equipped to capitalise on these prospects and for the Company continues to go from strength to strength.
For further information, please contact:
AFC Energy plc
+44 (0) 14 8327 6726
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WH Ireland - Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker
Mike Coe (Corporate Finance)
+44 (0) 117 945 3470
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M C Peat & Co LLP - Joint Broker
+44 (0) 20 7104 2334
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Tuva Partners - Public Relations
+44 (0) 7900 205 460
About AFC Energy
AFC Energy plc is commercialising a scalable alkaline fuel cell system, to provide clean electricity for on and off grid applications. The technology, pioneered over the past twelve years in the
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