South Africa-based automotive and energy storage group Metair Investments has posted increased operating profit for 2018— boosted by its lead-acid operations in Turkey and Romania.
Metair said group operating profit for the year ended 31 December 2018 increased by 19% to just over ZAR1 billion (US$69 million) compared to the previous year. Revenue for 2018 was ZAR10.28bn, an increase of 8% compared to 2017.
Group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased 9.4% to ZAR1.33bn.
Indian lead producer and exporter Gravita has revealed proposals to open nine new lead battery scrap sourcing centres in Africa— to feed its expanding recycling operations on the continent and boost the group’s bottom line.
The move comes just weeks after Gravita said it was expanding its lead-acid battery scrap processing operations overseas with two new facilities in Africa— in Ghana and Tanzania.
Gravita has now received relevant licences to run both African facilities, which are expected to start up this month.
ENGIE has started commercial operations of its 100MW Kathu Solar Park (KSP) to “provide clean and reliable energy to 179,000 homes” in South Africa.
KSP is a greenfield concentrated solar power project with “parabolic trough technology” and equipped with “a molten salt storage system that allows for 4.5 hours of thermal energy storage”.
The project has been realised under round 3.5 of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme, a competitive tender process launched “to facilitate private sector investment in renewable energy generation”.
South Korean firms Samsung SDI and Samsung Electronics are teaming up with German car giant BMW and chemicals group BASF for a joint pilot cobalt mining project to “enhance sustainable mining” for batteries production.
The companies have signed a contract with the German overseas development support agency— Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)— to launch the pilot in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Zimbabwe’s government has set out proposals to build battery-manufacturing plants as part of a “lithium beneficiation” programme.
The minister for local government, public works and national housing, July Moyo (pictured), said an unspecified number of plants would be built in the country’s central Midlands Province— spurred by renewed lithium mining activity.
France’s EDF energy group has acquired a 50% stake in venture-backed utility BBOXX, as the companies entered an agreement to develop and market solutions for off-grid electricity in Togo, West Africa.
BBOXX is a London-based company that designs, manufactures and distributes “innovative plug & play solar systems to improve access to energy across Africa and the developing world”. They have deployed more than 150,000 systems to date.
US firm Aquion Energy has supplied two 106kWh salt water batteries to replace a diesel generator at an African project.
The off-grid microgrid will consist of two separate systems, both storing energy from 37 kW solar arrays, at the Loisaba Conservancy in Kenya, East Africa.