Australian alternative energy company Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd (CFC) has opened its large-scale fuel cell manufacturing plant in Germany.
CFC is developing solid-oxide fuel cell technology that converts natural gas into electricity and heat through ceramic fuel cells.
The first products to be powered by the company's fuel cells will be small generators for homes and other buildings, and produce as much as two kilowatts of power and also provide heat for hot water and space heating.
"These products will meet the growing need for energy whilst also reducing greenhouse gas emissions," CFC said in a statement on Monday.
CFC chairman Jeff Harding said the opening of the factory in Heinsberg, Germany, was an important milestone because it allowed the company to move from making expensive "hand-built" products to producing semi-automated manufactured fuel cells at a competitive cost.
"We look forward to our Heinsberg plant making fuel cell stacks to go into our clean energy products for Europe, Australia and other global markets," Mr Harding said.
The plant has the capacity to produce 10,000 fuel cell stacks a year and was completed for Euros 9.5 million ($A16 million).
CFC was formed in 1992 by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industry Research Organisation (CSIRO) and a consortium of energy and industrial companies. The company is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and London Stock Exchange. CFC said it chose to locate its manufacturing plant in Germany because the country was one of its most important early markets.