A new research and development facility aiming to make fuel cells for the British and European market is to be set up in Cardiff.
Japanese electronics firm Panasonic has been manufacturing combined heat and power fuel cell systems for homes in Japan for a number of years – but now wants to introduce similar products to Europe.
The devices convert hydrogen and natural gas into electricity via chemical reaction – with the heat generated used to warm buildings.
Welsh business minister Edwina Hart said the Welsh Government had worked closely with Panasonic to help secure the fuel cell R&D programme for its Pentwyn facility in Cardiff.
She said: “Panasonic is one of the global leaders in this low-carbon technology and it's excellent news it has chosen Wales for this prestigious research programme.”
“I welcome the official confirmation today and am delighted the Welsh Government helped secure the investment with £456,000 support from our research, development and innovation funding programme.”
The new centre, due to open in September, will adapt and modify fuel cell products for the UK and European markets.
Officials say they want fuel cells to provide the majority of the heating, hot water and electricity requirements of a typical UK home – but with a much-reduced carbon footprint.
The announcement of the new R&D facility was made this week at the annual Welsh language cultural festival, the national Eisteddfod, which this year is being held in the Vale of Glamorgan.
Hart spoke at the science and technology pavilion, where Panasonic is participating as part of a wider exhibition on Welshman Sir William Robert Grove. The Swansea inventor, physicist and judge developed the first basic fuel cell in 1842.