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Phl eyed as fuel cell technology hub

AJ Bajo

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Israel-based GenCell Energy, a global developer and provider of power solutions utilizing fuel cell technology, is targeting to make the Philippines its Southeast Asian hub in five years.

The company said its plans are in line with rising domestic demand for stable and clean energy alternatives.

GenCell on Thursday officially launched its zero-emission, long-duration hydrogen-based fuel cell products in the Philippines after having entered the market in 2018 through its partner distributor, Laguna-based Amorele Technology Inc.

“We’ve decided that the Philippines will be our first key country in Southeast Asia. Part of our intention is not only to bring the technology through a distribution channel, but also to make the Philippines a hub of GenCell technology. The Philippines has a great need that we can address and solve,” GenCell chief executive officer Rami Reshef said in an interview in Makati on Saturday, 12 October.

He noted that the expansion is part of the company’s five-year plan to widen market reach in the Philippines, with the goal of locally manufacturing the products to improve distribution as well as export to other Southeast Asian countries.

The company first plans to expand its business footprint in the country before applying to the government for its plan to put up a plant here. Outside of the region, the company already has an active presence in North America, Europe and Central America.

Compared to other energy sources, Reshef said fuel cells technology — formerly traditionally used to power American and Russian spacecraft — enables constant energy that can withstand the common cause of power outages such as brownouts as well as natural disasters common in the country.

Established in 2011, Reshef said the company also supports the global push to cut carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use by 45 percent in 2030 from its levels in 2010.

Carbon emissions negatively impact the environment and human health. In the Philippines alone, 100,000 people have died due to outdoor air pollution, according to a 2018 report by the World Health Organization.

“You can see countries like US, Japan, China, Europe and others pushing the hydrogen economy more and more. Hydrogen is the fuel of the future — it’s very powerful, completely clean. This market in general is booming in the last several years and the main reason for that is the impact of global warming… It’s time to replace diesel,” Reshef said.

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