SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn., April 9, 2001 International Fuel Cells, a unit of United Technologies Corp., today announced that it has sold three PC25™ fuel cell systems to Sieco S.A., an IFC distributor and provider of premium power equipment and services headquartered in Argentina.
The units, which each produce 200 kilowatts of electricity and 900,000 Btus of heat, will be installed in Brazil and operated by Companhia Paranaense de Energia (COPEL) which provides electricity for 2.7 million customers in the Parana state of Brazil.
The first unit will provide assured power for COPEL’s System Center at Centro da UFPR, Curitiba, Parana, Brazil. The remaining two units will be installed at other sites in Parana.
“This sale to Sieco marks a first for IFC and another milestone for the PC25, as these units will be the first commercial fuel cell systems to operate in Latin America,” said IFC President William Miller. “IFC’s PC25s have already proven themselves on four other continents and we are proud to add COPEL to our long list of customers.”
“We are very excited to bring to Brazil’s green state of Parana the first commercial fuel cell in Latin America,” said Sieco’s President Nicolas Rosarios. “Sieco is committed to educating the region about the benefits and capabilities of the PC25 and supporting its commercial use.”
Pedro Augusto do Nascimento Neto, General Manager of COPEL Distribution, sponsor of the fuel cell project, said: “We are quite proud at COPEL being the first to use fuel cells in Latin America. We are always searching for state- of-the-art technologies. Our company has long pioneered to offer our customers safe, clean and reliable sources of energy.”
Sieco, founded in 1987, is a provider of premium energy equipment and services based in Argentina. Sieco is partnering with Lactec, the energy research and development center located in Curitiba, Brazil, which will support and service the PC25 units in Parana.
COPEL is one of three large utilities formerly controlled by the municipal or state governments. COPEL Distribution was elected the best power distribution company in Brazil. Through acquisitions, COPEL is expanding into natural gas and telecommunications, including cellular services and Internet access.
A fuel cell is an electrochemical device that combines hydrogen, or hydrogen-rich fuel, and oxygen to produce electricity, heat and water. Fuel cells operate without combustion, making them almost pollution free. While a traditional generating system produces as much as 25 pounds of pollutants to generate 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity, the PC25 power plant produces less than an ounce.
IFC has manufactured the PC25 power plant since 1991 and delivered more than 200 to customers in 15 countries on four continents. Those power plants have together accumulated some 4 million hours of operation.
Use of these power plants has already reduced 600 million pounds of CO2 emissions and 11 million pounds of NOx and SOx compared with typical US combustion-based power plants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized IFC last year with a Climate Protection Award as a result of these accomplishments
International Fuel Cells is the world leader in fuel cell production and development for commercial, transportation, residential and space applications. IFC is the sole supplier of fuel cells for U.S. space missions.