Bushveld Minerals Ltd said it secured funding for the engineering, procurement and construction of a hybrid mini-grid to supply energy for its Vametco operation in South Africa.

The hybrid mini-grid project will provide about 10.7% of Vametco’s electrical energy while also demonstrating the technical and commercial viability of hybrid mini-grids employing solar panels and vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) technology

Bushveld’s 84%-owned energy subsidiary, Bushveld Energy Ltd, has completed the development and achieved financial closing for a 3.5 MW solar PV plus a 1 MW/4 MWh VRFB hybrid mini-grid project for Vametco, which will operate as an independent power producer.

Bushveld Energy and NESA Investment Holdings, a South African investment firm, have agreed to be strategic equity partners in the development and financing of the hybrid mini-grid project under a special purpose vehicle. NESA has provided 60% of the equity, while Bushveld Energy has provided 40%. 

“NESA Investment Holdings and the NESA Power Group are proud to partner with Bushveld Energy to develop its flagship renewable energy project for Bushveld Minerals’ Vametco mine,” said Percy Ying, director of NESA Investment Holdings.

“In addition to generating long-term positive benefits for the mine, the project will also be one of the first renewable energy projects in South Africa to employ vanadium battery storage technology and demonstrate its commercial viability on a large scale.”

The project’s total cost is estimated to be 113mln rand (£5.8mln).

ABSA Relationship Banking has approved a 64mln rand loan to part fund the construction.

The project is now fully funded and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2023.

“In the future we expect to see increased demand for projects combining solar PV and VRFB technology, especially in regions with similar challenges to South Africa,” said Fortune Mojapelo, chief executive of Bushveld Minerals.

The project will help Bushveld’s mining and processing activities reduce their carbon footprint. CO2 emissions will be reduced by more than 8,000 tonnes per year and more than 200,000 tonnes of CO2 during the life of the project. 


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