Bushveld Minerals Optimistic On Energy Storage Efforts In South Africa

LONDON (Alliance News) - Bushveld Minerals Ltd on Wednesday said South Africa's power generation ...

Alliance News 27 March, 2019 | 10:08AM
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LONDON (Alliance News) - Bushveld Minerals Ltd on Wednesday said South Africa's power generation problems are an opportunity for its Energy business.

In recent weeks, state-owned electricity producer Eskom has had to repeatedly loadshed at the highest level, stage four, to ensure a total blackout does not occur.

On Wednesday, the City of Cape Town said this was costing its economy ZAR75 million, about GBP4 million, an hour.

During the last quarter of 2018, Bushveld Energy, 84% owned by Bushveld Minerals, set up a vanadium redox flow battery project, or VRFB, with Eskom. Once completed this will have a peak output of 450 kilowatts per hour.

"Completion of our first energy storage project in Africa, with Eskom, has allowed Bushveld Energy to expand its project development capabilities during the final quarter of 2018," said Bushveld Energy Chief Executive Mikhail Nikomarov.

"We can approach the development of a more complex project that includes a hybrid of solar generation and VRFB storage technologies with even higher confidence."

"More urgently, with the current load shedding in South Africa this project is a first step in mitigating the single greatest risk to production faced by the mining sector in South Africa," Nikomarov continued.

"Combined with our ongoing work with the Industrial Development Corp on electrolyte manufacturing, the Eskom project and now the hybrid mini-grid will demonstrate solutions to South Africa's energy challenges that can utilise South African sourced materials."

Elsewhere in the quarter, Bushveld Energy set up a mini-grid project at the Vametco vanadium mine, operated by Bushveld Minerals. This will offer up to 1 megawatt of power.

Bushveld Minerals also said the mineral resource estimate for Vametco is due by April 15.

Bushveld Energy is also working to convert mined vanadium into electrolyte, and it is currently testing its method.

"If proven successful, samples from the produced electrolyte will be provided to battery companies for suitability assessment," said Bushveld Minerals.

"There is significant expressed interest from VRFB manufacturers for vanadium electrolyte and appetite to add long duration energy storage to power systems and renewable energy projects in Africa overall."

Shares in Bushveld Minerals were 2.8% higher in London on Wednesday at 40.10 pence each.

By George Collard; georgecollard@alliancenews.com

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Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar Rating
Bushveld Minerals Ltd 24.00 GBX -1.03 -
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