Ballard Power Systems is planning to build manufacturing facility and R&D center in Shanghai, China. This is part of a strategy, called ‘local for local’, according to which the Canadian fuel cell specialist aims to deepen its global manufacturing footprint in Europe, the United States and China to support global market demand growth through 2030.
Ballard has entered into an investment agreement with the Government of Anting in Shanghai’s Jiading District to establish its new China headquarters, membrane electrode assembly (MEA) manufacturing facility and R&D center at a site strategically located at the Jiading Hydrogen Port, located in one of China’s leading automotive industry clusters.
Why Ballard wants to invest nearly $130 million in Shanghai
Ballard plans to invest approximately $130 million over the next three years, which will enable annual production capacity at the new MEA production facility of approximately 13 million MEAs, which will supply approximately 20,000 engines. In 2021, Ballard completed its MEA manufacturing expansion in Canada, which is critical as the MEA is the core technology and limiting factor for Ballard’s global fuel cell engine production capabilities. This investment is expected to reduce MEA manufacturing costs, align with China’s fuel cell value chain localization policy, and position Ballard more strongly in the hydrogen fuel cell demonstration cluster regions and for the post-subsidy market.
The facility is planned to be in operation in 2025 to meet expected market demand in China, including from the Weichai-Ballard Joint Venture for the bus, truck and forklift markets. “To be competitive in China requires investment in China,” commented Alfred Wong, Ballard China CEO. “This new MEA manufacturing facility will significantly reduce MEA production costs, improve China market access and meet long-term market demand, including providing MEA supply to our Weichai-Ballard JV. We are thrilled to be partnering with Anting, Jiading District, which has quickly become a key hydrogen technology hub in China.”
Ballard also announced today that it has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Weichai Power whereby Weichai Power plans to make an equity investment for 2% of Ballard’s new MEA manufacturing company.