ALLIANCE, Ohio, May 9, 2002 — Governor Bob Taft glimpsed the future Thursday as he visited McDermott Technology, Inc., the site of Ohio’s largest fuel cell research program with the largest number of operating fuel cells.
Taft’s visit to MTI underscored his plans to launch his Third Frontier concept, a program that aims to help fund and foster high-tech industries in the state.
Taft addressed employees and guests during his visit to MTI and saw fuel cells in operation at SOFCo, an MTI-originated venture that is now the largest fuel cell “core-technology” development center in the state of Ohio. Taft emphasized his plans to jump-start high-tech ventures in the state of Ohio — particularly the development of fuel cells — emphasizing their importance and potential throughout the state’s business and industrial base.
“We want to support fuel cell industries in Ohio in every possible way,” Taft said. “Ohio intends to be a leader in fuel cells going forward from here.”
Fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity and are pollution free, emitting only water as a byproduct. Along with easing U.S. dependence on foreign oil, they have the potential to significantly reduce pollution from autos and power plants. As a direct result of programs like the one at MTI, fuel cells will be commercialized within the next two to three years as clean, efficient, reliable, low-cost sources of electricity.
SOFCo’s planar solid-oxide fuel cell technology is recognized as one of the fuel cell technologies in the world, with nearly $100 million already invested by private and government sources. Most recently, SOFCo was awarded $74 million in support under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solid-State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) Program.
Under the SECA program MTI has teamed with Cummins Diesel to make auxiliary power for recreational vehicles or even as an auxiliary power source for large trucks that waste millions of gallons of diesel fuel per year while they idle.
MTI is a key player in the Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition, which was formed last year to foster a fuel cell industry in Ohio.
MTI is a major contractor to the U.S. Department of Energy and is an operating unit of McDermott International, Inc., a worldwide energy services company. McDermott and its subsidiaries manufacture steam-generating equipment, environmental equipment, and products for the U.S. government. They also provide design, engineering, fabrication, and installation services to the oil and natural gas industries for offshore production facilities and pipelines.