ITALY • FUEL CELLS RWE Plus AG and Nuvera Fuel Cells Inc have indicated their intention to form a joint venture to develop and distribute fuel cell systems in Europe. The companies aim to develop, manufacture and sell combined heat and power fuel cells with electrical outputs of up to 50kW for residential and small commercial applications. RWE Plus will be the preferred customer of the new company which plans to have a commercial product by 2004, though it will be available to all utilities and other customers.

The joint venture will focus on proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems fuelled with natural gas or methane. System optimisation field tests will be carried out in Germany during 2002. Nuvera, formed through the merger of Italian De Nora Fuel Cells SpA and US based Epyx Corp, develops PEM fuel cells and fuel processors.