27 July 2007 - Italian-based fuel cell catalyst research and development firm Acta has entered into discussions with Sumitomo Corporation , its Asian distributor, to broaden and deepen the terms of their partnership. Acta said in an interim report that customers have tested cells with Acta's Hypermec catalyst and have proved Hypermec's unique performance capabilities.
Acta said it continues to make good progress with both the number of customers and its level of engagement with them. Recent customer visits both in Asia and to Acta's Italian R&D facility have confirmed high levels of customer interest and commitment to further trials.
Acta said it had made excellent progress technically, hitting a number of key milestones. In the first half of the year, Acta demonstrated Hypermec's durability with different fuels and also its unique ability to fully convert ethanol fuel for peak fuel efficiency.
The Company is now also focusing on optimizing the application technology, which will further enhance both power and durability. Recruitment of highly experienced fuel cell scientists continues, ensuring that the Company maximizes its capability and intellectual property. Supporting this is an investment programme in analytical and quality control equipment.
Acta's cost base and cash utilization remain well controlled and within expectations. The Company has recruited a highly experienced Chief Financial Officer ( Paul Barritt) and has commissioned a new accounting system to manage the Company through its rapid growth. Much of the investment in new equipment has been financed by the Company's two existing government grants.
Acta anticipate further rapid advances both commercially and technically in the second half. It plans to announce further progress and its future milestones for the fuel cell market with its interim results in September as well as outlining progress in identifying important new markets for Hypermec.
Paolo Bert, CEO, commented: "Our growing team has delivered great progress in almost every area in the first half of the year. We are very excited that the second half will see significant technical and commercial advances for both fuel cells and other applications."