What it does
Ceres’ core SteelCell technology overcomes two problems traditionally associated with other solid oxide fuel cells: cost and lack of robustness. SteelCell can use a variety of fuels - natural gas, hydrogen, biofuel - that can be manufactured from widely available materials, making it the most cost-effective solution on the market. “This scalability is Ceres’s key competitive advantage, in our view,” broker Berenberg said recently.
Progress to date
It has an impressive roster of partners. Key among them are Chinese engines giant Weichai Power, German engineering firm Bosch, US engine maker Cummins and Japanese carmakers Nissan and Honda.
Japanese boiler group Miura and Korean fuel cell specialist Doosan are also working on projects with Ceres.
For the full year to June, revenues jumped 142% to £15.3mln, the fourth year running Ceres has more than doubled its turnover.
Losses dropped to £7.9mln from £11.9mln.
What the boss says: Phil Caldwell, chief executive
"We now have license agreements in place with four of the world's largest engineering and power companies.
“Bosch and Weichai have chosen not only to partner with us but have invested in significant equity stakes, aligning them to the future success of our business and ensuring that Ceres is well-capitalised to deliver against its strategy.
In January, Bosch increased its stake in the company to around 18% from 4% following a share subscription, netting Ceres £38mln
In November, Ceres announced the development of its first zero-emission combined heat and power (CHP) system, designed exclusively for use with hydrogen fuel
In July, Ceres signed a collaboration agreement with South Korean conglomerate Doosan to develop a solid oxide fuel cell power system for the commercial building market
In June, the firm launched the first fuel cell system using its technology into the Japanese market as part of a partnership with boiler maker Miura
Orders at the end of June totalled £28.4mln, with a pipeline worth a further £50mln
What the brokers say - Liberum
Sentiment has been boosted by the announcement of a fourth licenser Doosan, a successful start to Weichai's China city bus trials, some helpful transitions in the share register and a hydrogen/FC sector re-rating.
We think over £150m of annual revenues and £100m FCF is possible by 2030 as the four licensees launch products for extending battery vehicle range, powering data centres and providing combined heat/power to commercial enterprises in a reliable, highly efficient low-carbon footprint.
The broker has a 300p per share price target.
According to Ceres: "The UK Government is the first G20 country to legislate towards meeting a net-zero emissions target by 2050, and the EU is debating doing something similar.
"In Japan, there are now more than 300,000 ENE-Farm domestic energy units installed, heated and powered by fuel cells and, at next year's Tokyo Olympics, there will be a fleet of 100 fuel-cell-powered buses to transport spectators.
"The Korean Government has announced a target of 15GW of stationary fuel cell capacity by 2040, and to put 80,000 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) on its roads within the next three years.
"China, with its targets to reduce emissions and to counter considerable issues over air pollution in their cities, also has an active programme for new electric vehicles, including buses."