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On 3 September 2020, TDK Corporation (TSE: 6762) announced that its subsidiary TDK Ventures Inc. has added GenCell, a world leader in hydrogen and ammonia fuel cell technologies, to its growing investment portfolio. Fuel cell company GenCell is TDK Ventures first investment in the renewable energy space. The Israel-based company develops alkaline fuel cells for backup and off-grid power applications. GenCell will leverage TDK Corporation’s global reach and deep expertise in at-scale manufacturing and power electronics.
On 23 January 2020, Paz Oil Company Ltd. (TASE:PZOL) announced that its board of directors had approved a $10 million investment in Israeli company GenCell for 4-5% of GenCell’s shares. The investment is part of Paz’s policy investing in sectors tangential to its activity, mainly in alternative and environmentally friendly energy and in energy innovation projects. As part of the investment transaction, Paz will be entitled to appoint a director at GenCell.
GenCell solutions will comprise a key component of the emerging hydrogen economy, poised to blossom in the next few years. GenCell’s emission-free alkaline fuel cells could truly power fully off-grid rural areas where electricity is not a commodity, contributing to TDK Ventures’ sustainability goals and investment thesis and offering clean fueling alternatives for Paz Oil. In its announcement of the investment, Paz noted that GenCell’s future products may be integrated for refueling of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) at Paz fueling stations.
According to Managing Director of TDK Ventures, Nicolas Sauvage, “TDK Ventures specifically scouted for fuel cell companies in the backup storage and off-grid power market and found that very few address the obstacles barring access to hydrogen fuel. GenCell invented a new fuel cell technology that uses ubiquitously-available ammonia as their fuel for the new system, which cracks ammonia into hydrogen and generates electricity.”
“TDK is a strong technology and business partner, with extensive expertise in roll-to-roll coating, manufacturing, and power electronic supply components,” said Rami Reshef, CEO of GenCell. “We deliver the most advanced fuel cell solutions that significantly reduce our customers’ carbon footprint with unprecedented cost savings, efficiency, and performance. We currently operate in 18 countries and consistently look to partners to assist in the performance enhancement of our fuel cells and to increase our business footprint. TDK’s knowledge in process improvement, at-scale manufacturing and power supplies will help us deliver even higher-performance green products with lower total cost of ownership.”
“With our expertise in fuel retail, we believe our strategic partnership with GenCell makes addressing the hydrogen economy of the future possible,” said Nir Sztern, the CEO of Paz Oil, who led GenCell’s investment round.
Continued Reshef, “GenCell’s clean fueling technology will leverage our silver bullet – liquid ammonia – to overcome the cost and availability barriers to the hydrogen economy. By providing Paz Oil with economical and readily available clean refueling solutions, we will overcome the greatest barrier to FCEV adoption. We are extremely excited about the opportunity to work with the Paz team to further develop our ideas into practical solutions that can resolve the world’s mobility challenges.”
To read the TDK Ventures press release, click here.
To read an article reporting on the Paz Oil investment in GenCell, click here.