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Shares of Ballard Power Systems BLDP-T were up more than 18 per cent after it announced a long-term supply agreement with European bus manufacturer Solaris Bus & Coach that it called its largest order ever for fuel cell engines.

Ballard shares closed up 68 cents at $4.45 on Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The deal consolidates existing orders for about 300 fuel cell engines, while adding aftermarket and extended warranty services, along with a new commitment for about an additional 700 fuel cell engines and related aftermarket extended warranty services.

Financial terms of the agreement were not immediately available.

The deal includes engines for both 12-metre and 18-metre buses. They are expected to be used in buses across Europe where Solaris buses powered by Ballard fuel cell engines operate in over 22 cities.

Ballard said delivery is expected to start this year and run through the end of 2027.

The company also announced Monday that it has been awarded US$54 million in U.S. investment tax credits that it plans to use to help build a new fuel cell factory in Texas.

Ballard chief executive Randy MacEwen says combined with US$40 million in U.S. Department of Energy grants that Ballard has received, the company has a total of US$94 million of U.S. federal funding to support the factory.

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