ZeTek Begins Operation of Mass-Production Fuel Cell Plant in Cologne, Germany

February 12, 2001 by Jeff Shepard

ZeTek plc (UK) recently began operation of a mass-production fuel cell plant in Cologne, Germany. The CEO of the company, Nick Abson, reported that he already had orders worth nearly $3.0 million to the end of June. He declined to name his customers, but they include a major US utility, a logistics company and British local authorities. ZeTek is aiming at niche markets such as large delivery trucks, office buildings and boats.

ZeTek's German production line, which the company claims is the first of its kind, rolled into operation on February 2, 2001. The company chose Cologne for its European production base because the local government in the German city offered an incentive package including a grant, loans, equity investment and tax breaks. The Cologne factory will make fuel cells capable of generating 40MW of electricity by the end of the year. ZeTek's factory in Tennessee should start operating in mid-summer, and Abson predicts that, “in five to six years, we will be producing about 13 giga-watts, a serious number."