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Convion takes on Wärtsilä'’s fuel cell activities

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

Finnish firm Convion is to take over solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system development from gas engine maker Wärtsilä’s fuel cell unit.

Last autumn Wärtsilä announced that its product development strategy has been redefined and as a consequence its fuel cell function would be reorganised, leading to a consultation process in the fuel cell unit in Espoo, Finland, at the end of last year.

Wärtsilä’s minority interest in the newly-created Convion is around 20% and nine former Wärtsilä employees will move to the new company. Erkko Fontell, Director of the former fuel cell unit, has been appointed Managing Director of Convion.

Tero Seppälä, Director of Business Development, Wärtsilä Finalnd, said: “So far the test results of the fuel cell systems have been very promising, but the unit size of 20–50 kW is at the moment not sufficient to complement Wärtsilä’s product portfolio in an expedient way. With the minority interest in Convion, Wärtsilä wants to secure access to continued fuel cell development.”

Financial backers VNT Management’s fund focusing on renewable energy technology is also involved in developing the Convion’s activities.