Modine Manufacturing Company (Nasdaq: MODI) has created a Fuel-Cell Products Group to bring its heat-transfer expertise to an emerging, energy-revolution opportunity.

“Modine intends to be the preeminent supplier of heat-transfer components and systems to the PEM fuel-cell industry,” said Donald R. Johnson, Modine’s president and chief executive officer.

The PEM (proton exchange membrane or polymer electrolyte membrane) fuel cell is being developed to replace the internal combustion engine in vehicles. According to Allied Business Intelligence, an Oyster Bay, N.Y., technology research think tank specializing in communications and emerging-technology markets, PEM fuel cells will dominate the fuel-cell market with 80 percent of all automotive fuel cells by 2010.

Every major automobile manufacturer in the world has a developmental program for fuel-cell vehicles. Only recently have fuel cells evolved to a point where they are seriously considered as a source of clean power for the world’s vehicles as well as stationary applications for the 21st century.

“Fuel cells use a chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen to produce energy,” said Mark A. Baffa, who will lead the Fuel-Cell Products Group. “While doing so, they also produce water and large amounts of heat. Heat exchangers, which are the basis for Modine’s business, are a critical, enabling technology for the success of fuel cells and offer a substantial market opportunity for Modine. These are high-growth markets where our heat-transfer expertise can differentiate Modine from the rest of the field.

“For the last two years, Modine has had an ongoing developmental effort to produce fuel-cell heat exchangers for vehicular applications,” Baffa said. “Modine has been applying its depth of knowledge at solving complex, heat-transfer issues to assist in bringing about the commercialization of the fuel-cell engine. We now are expanding our efforts in this area by creating a group to focus on this new technology, both for vehicles and for stationary power applications.”

Modine is a world leader at solving heating and cooling problems in vehicles, buildings, and off-highway and industrial equipment. Modine has annual sales of more than $1 billion and has about 8,300 employees worldwide. Modine can be found on the Internet at Inquiries about Modine’s fuel-cell activities can be directed to 888-636-8627, a toll-free telephone number.

Forward-looking statements about Modine’s markets and operations in this news release involve both risks and uncertainties, as detailed on page 17 of Modine’s Annual Report for fiscal 1999.