Impala Platinum Limited (Implats), a platinum producing company, has unveiled a new prototype of its fuel cell forklift and hydrogen (H2) refuelling station at its Impala Refining Services in Springs, Johannesburg.
In partnership with Hydrogen South Africa (HySa) Systems, the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and the Department of Science and Technology, the three-year project commenced in 2012 and is the first of its kind in South Africa.
The initiative, which has cost an estimated R12m ($814,000) so far, focuses on building local skills in H2 and fuel cell product development, with HySa Systems having received a total of R6m ($401,000) from Implats to develop the H2 fuel cell-powered prototypes.
The metal hydride H2 storage system allows the forklift to operate at lower pressures of 190 bar, aiming to improve safety and costs on the vehicles. The current cost of the local refuelling station stands at around R2m ($136,000) compared to paying €500,000 ($569,000) to import an international system.
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