A “significant” number of green collar jobs could be created in the UK after fuel cell developer Ceres Power announced plans to build a new manufacturing facility in Horsham, West Sussex.
Ceres Power has made the move after hitting targets on developing and integrating fuel cells into micro Combined Heat and Power units and securing major deals with British Gas and Calor.
If current trials are successful the new facility will produce up to one million fuel cells per year plus stacks and modules.
The company says this will support the creation of a “significant” number of jobs directly at the facility and in the surrounding area via the extended supply chain.
Over the past year Ceres has created 40 new jobs and this year it expects the workforce to grow, but once the manufacturing facility is fully operational it will potentially create hundreds of jobs within the company and through its network of suppliers.
Peter Bance, Ceres Power chief executive, said: “Securing the site where we will establish our fuel cell mass manufacturing is a key step forward in the commercialisation
of our technology and underpins our roadmap to volume launch of our CHP products in the UK.
“This plant will also provide the template for further expansion internationally and will help support Ceres Power’s growth plans into other markets.”
The 50,000 square foot building will be fitted out in the first half of this financial year with manufacturing set to start in the second half of the year.
Low volume beta units will be produced in 2009 and into 2010 for sheltered field trials under the contract with British Gas.
During 2010 additional equipment will be installed to deliver the higher volumes required for commercial field trials and in preparation for volume launch with British Gas in 2011.