Smart to roll out more than 90 fuel cell-powered sites

SMART COMMUNICATIONS, Inc., the wireless arm of PLDT, Inc. said that it will be rolling out over 90 fuel cell-powered sites across the country by the second quarter this year, in partnership with a Denmark firm.

In a press release, Smart said that it will be unveiling the green cell sites in off-grid and “grid-challenged” areas in urban and rural areas nationwide until the end of 2021. The firm added that it has tapped Denmark-based SerEnergy for the installation of the green cell sites.

On its website, SerEnergy describes itself as the “world-leading supplier of methanol-based fuel cell solutions.”

Fuel cells use electrochemical reactions to produce energy. Smart said that stationary fuel cells “emit less carbon dioxide than other technologies” and are “completely carbon neutral if the cells use fuel from renewable energy sources.”

Fuel cells are also said to be more cost-effective, compared to existing technologies, as units have longer lifetimes.

“As we face daunting challenges on how to protect our environment and promote more equitable social development, Smart’s cutting-edge technologies can play a significant role in rallying the right socio-environmental mind-set and driving a greater sense of responsibility to the planet,” Alfredo S. Panlilio, Smart Communications president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

For his part, SerEnergy Commercial Manager Morten Thomsen said that the “firm is excited that Smart has chosen their clean power technology.”

Smart said that its foray into more environment-friendly cell sites is a key pillar of its “Live Smarter for a Better World” campaign, which hopes to “inspire people to commit to embarking on sustainable actions that have a lasting and positive impact to society.”

Shares of PLDT in the local bourse improved 2.09% or P25 to end at P1,220 apiece on Monday.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Angelica Y. Yang

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