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Plug Power Plans Hyundai Joint Venture for Asian Sales

Plug Power Inc., the fuel-cell company that’s gained more than 4,000 percent in the past year, plans to form a joint venture with Hyundai Hysco Co. to develop and sell equipment in Asia.

The companies signed a memorandum of understanding to create a five-year project using stack-and-plate fuel-cell technology developed by Hyundai Hysco, Latham, New York-based Plug said today in a statement. The joint venture terms must be finalized by July 31.

The venture provides a third source of fuel-cell stacks Plug can use in its systems that power electric forklifts, with the first products ready as early as next year, Chief Executive Officer Andy Marsh said today on a conference call with analysts. Plug, which buys most of its stacks from Ballard Power Systems Inc., also plans to make its own after the $4 million purchase of ReliOn Inc. last month.

“Our focus is on the material handling market,” Marsh said on the call, referring to forklifts. That’s a $10 billion market opportunity in Asia, he said.

Plug has been the best performer on the Nasdaq Stock Market during the past 12 months as the company said it expects to report its first profit on expanding sales. The stock slipped 4.2 percent to $7.01 at the close in New York.

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