2 July 2010
Ceres Power Holdings plc
Update on British Gas CHP programme and Notice of Preliminary Results
Ceres Power Holdings plc ("Ceres" or the "Company") today is providing an update on the British Gas CHP programme, and announcing a product demonstration at the Company's HQ in September 2010 in conjunction with its preliminary results for the year ended 30th June 2010.
Since the interim results we have achieved the following:
· CHP product demonstrations conducted for British Gas Directors
· CHP boiler assemblies now being produced by Daalderop in volume manufacturing plant
· Sheltered field trials operated under 'real-life' conditions in unoccupied homes
· CHP product remote data collection, diagnostics and operation demonstrated
· Major process improvements to increase capacity and yield in the manufacture of fuel cells
· Expanded CHP product testing capability at Horsham and Crawley sites
The Company has been operating CHP units in sheltered field trials and in its own test facilities gaining valuable experience across a wide range of operating conditions. The experience from this testing means that the installation of CHP units in occupied homes for commercial field trials is now expected in Q4 2010 to enable completion of the required engineering design changes and CE marking certification.
The systems engineering challenges associated with achieving the required product reliability and operating control strategy have involved both hardware and software modifications (including the associated design, procure, build and test cycle) which have taken more time to resolve than was anticipated. Accordingly, the Beta phase will now be extended to allow sufficient time to complete the required engineering iterations and we now expect initial product sales in mid 2012. We are working closely with British Gas to prepare for both initial product sales and an accelerated volume ramp-up within six months thereafter.
Ceres has recently conducted CHP demonstrations for British Gas Directors at its new installer training facility in Horsham. The Company's wall mounted CHP product exported and imported power to and from the grid and delivered heating and hot water into a representative home energy system comprising hot water tank, central heating system including radiators and a smart meter. The CHP product demonstrations involved multiple start/stops and responses to calls for space heating from a room thermostat. We have also been working closely with British Gas to further optimise the CHP system's design for ease of installation in order to maximise the addressable market opportunity.
Gearoid Lane, Managing Director of British Gas Communities and New Energy, commented: "Significant progress has been made by Ceres Power during the challenging Beta phase and we were pleased to see the working Beta CHP units and manufacturing operations. We look forward to working closely with Ceres Power to accelerate the mass market deployment of CHP units and offer British Gas customers the opportunity to generate their own electricity as part of our strategic commitment to a low carbon world."
The Company expects to end its financial year on 30th June 2010 in a robust financial position with net cash and short-term investments of not less than £40m, in line with previous guidance.
The Company will invite sell-side analysts to its Horsham headquarters on Wednesday 29th September 2010 to demonstrate its wall-mounted natural gas CHP Product, and provide a management presentation of its preliminary results and a tour of the production and test facilities. The directors will also present a full technology update including independent third party validation together with a revised roadmap for the CHP programme with British Gas.
Peter Bance, Chief Executive Officer, Ceres Power, commented: "We are working hard to complete the re-engineering work ahead of installing CHP field trial units in consumers' homes later this year. British Gas is exploring opportunities with Ceres Power to accelerate the volume sales of our CHP product in the UK."
For further information please contact.
Ceres Power Holdings Plc Tel: +44 (0) 1293 400 404
Peter Bance, Chief Executive Officer
Rex Vevers, Finance Director
Morgan Stanley Tel: +44 (0) 20 7425 8000
Peter Moorhouse / Alastair Walmsley
Jefferies International Limited Tel: +44 (0) 20 7029 8000
Chris Snoxall / Oliver Griffiths
Kreab Gavin Anderson Tel: +44 (0) 20 7074 1800
Ken Cronin / Deborah Walter