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POSCO, KEPCO Join Hands to Build Fuel Cells

POSCO and the Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) have formed a partnership to develop hydrogen fuel cell generators, a promising future growth item.

The two signed a memorandum of understanding on Sunday at the POSCO Center in Daechi-dong, Seoul in which they agreed on a sweeping collaboration to produce fuel cell power generators. POSCO Chairman Lee Ku-taek and KEPCO CEO Lee Won-gul were both present.

The two companies will soon organize a working-level conference on the project to discuss issues like production, sales, R&D, and overseas marketing.

As part of the agreement, the steelmaker's subsidiary POSCO Power will supply KEPCO's Korea South-East Power Co. (KOSEP) with 2400kW fuel cell generators. KOSEP is currently test operating a 250kW fuel cell in a power plant.

The deal should help the commercialization of fuel cell generators gain speed as it brings together Korea's sole provider of fuel cell generators, POSCO, and the country's biggest user of generators, KEPCO.

Fuel cells are next-generation devices that produce electricity through a chemical reaction of fuel and an oxidant. They produce minimal pollutants such as CO2.

POSCO is building the largest ever fuel cell power plant, to generate 100MW per year, in a supporting industrial complex in Youngil Bay, Pohang. That's through a technology collaboration forged in early February with POSCO Power and America's FCE (Fuel Cell Energy), a leader in the fuel cell sector.

KEPCO's Korea Electric Power Research Institute has also stepped in to develop fuel cell technology with KOSEP, working on commercial development using the fuel cell supplied by POSCO Power last November.

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