From: John M. Moran, The Hartford Courant, Conn.
Published November 18, 2004 12:00 AM

Fuel Cell Developers United Technologies, Toshiba to Split up on Efforts

Nov. 18—United Technologies Corp. and Japanese technology giant Toshiba have agreed to go their separate ways when it comes to developing fuel cell products.

The companies, which have collaborated on fuel cell development since the 1980s, said Wednesday they have decided to concentrate on different visions of how that technology will reach the marketplace.

"Toshiba wants to focus on small residential fuel cells ... and we want to focus on large commercial fuel cells," said UTC spokesman Paul Jackson.

As a result, UTC will buy back Toshiba's 10 percent stake in the UTC Fuel Cells unit and Toshiba will buy back UTC's 49 percent share of Toshiba International Fuel Cells.

Terms of the deal were not announced.

Fuel cells are battery-like devices that generate electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen.

Because no combustion takes place, and therefore no polluting byproducts are produced, the technology is seen as a clean alternative to generating power by burning fossil fuels, such as oil and coal.

Jackson said UTC and Toshiba will continue various cross-licensing agreements and Toshiba will continue to market UTC Fuel Cells' PureCell 200 unit.

The deal also does not affect UTC Fuel Cells' transportation fuel cell business or Toshiba's direct-methanol fuel cell enterprise.

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© 2004, The Hartford Courant, Conn. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.

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