Engineering company Ecubes Arcola has been awarded an export contract with the Government of South Sumatra to supply its hydrogen (H2) refuelling equipment and two next-generation H2-powered cars for the 2018 Asian Games.
The London-based firm, which is based in the Arcola Theatre art & science innovation campus in Hackney, secured the contract to supply H2-powered Renault Kangoo ZE H2 light commercial vehicles with support from the Department for International Trade (DIT).
The vehicles have just landed in Jakarta and will shortly begin a tour of Indonesia as part of a showcase to coincide with the Asian Games, the second largest multi-sport event in the world after the Olympics. This year’s games will be held in Indonesia from 18th August to 2nd September.
Ecubes Arcola will also be running a three-week-long education roadshow providing hands-on technology workshops for over 1,000 young people in South Sumatra and Java, plus open-access displays for all visitors to Jakabaring Sport City, home to many of the Asian Games venues.
This is the first phase of the company’s 25-year partnership with the South Sumatran Government, which will see it deliver H2-enabled clean energy infrastructure throughout the province.
Ecubes Arcola is a joint venture between Arcola Energy, led by Dr. Ben Todd, and Slovenia’s Ecubes Technologies, led by Aleksander Gerbec. Its aim is to deliver clean energy infrastructure and services based on H2 technologies in developing economies.
Dr. Todd, Director of Ecubes Arcola, said, “H2 will play a significant role in the world’s future energy system, providing electricity and heat to buildings, as well as powering transportation.”
“The work we are doing with the Government of South Sumatra in Indonesia gives Ecubes Arcola a priceless opportunity to build our brand and establish links with customers in Government and business in Asia and beyond.”
“We are becoming recognised as a key player for delivering clean energy, which can bring huge benefits to congested megacities like Jakarta.
“We’re getting enquiries about supplying hundreds of vehicles, along with networks of H2 filling stations. It’s a massive opportunity for us and for our supply chain partners across the UK, helping them access new markets that couldn’t otherwise be reached.”
The 18-strong team, based at the Arcola campus in Dalston, has also developed H2-powered commercial vehicles and buses, whose only emissions are water vapour, as well as systems to utilise H2 in quantity from surplus renewable energy.
The first of the systems is already in operation in the Orkney Islands, where it is used to power buildings and ships.
Ecubes Arcola has established partnerships with British supply chain firms including Liverpool power plant specialist, Clarke Energy and Sheffield H2 energy storage and fuel systems firm, ITM Power.
It is also working with Britain’s biggest bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis to develop and commercialise the next generation of H2 powered E400 buses – a prototype of which is already undergoing route trials on the streets of London.
Dr. Todd says support from DIT has been vital in helping create international opportunities for Ecubes Arcola. He said, “DIT leads a well-joined up Government operation that has brokered critical new relationships for us.”
“It genuinely creates demand for UK products and services. For us, the impact has been massive. Companies are often unaware that this assistance is there and should have the confidence to contact DIT like we did. If we can do it, so can you.”
Parveen Thornhill, DIT Regional Director for London, added, “Ecubes Arcola is a fantastic example of how innovative London businesses are exporting around the world.”
“This activity with the Asian Games is just one part of a much bigger story. Ecubes Arcola has ambitions to open up exporting potential in a wide range of countries globally, from South-East Asia to North Africa.”
“Along with DIT, the company has utilised support from a number of partners on its exporting journey. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK Export Finance and HSBC have all contributed to help Ecubes Arcola and its supply chain, to achieve their collective exporting potential.”
“We’re making introductions, providing useful intelligence and more, and this is a service that I’d encourage more London firms to access. We have an experienced team of International Trade Advisers who can sit down with you to help navigate the entire exporting process.”