Kibo secures deal to develop, deploy CellCube-based energy storage solutions in Southern Africa

17th May 2022 By: Schalk Burger - Creamer Media Senior Contributing Editor

Energy company Kibo Energy has signed a rolling five-year agreement with energy storage company Enerox’s subsidiary CellCube to develop and deploy CellCube-based long-duration energy storage (LDES) solutions in selected sectors in Southern Africa.

Kibo has been granted conditional exclusive rights, subject to successful proof of concepts, to the marketing, sales, configuration and delivery of CellCube’s vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB) in the development of its LDES solutions in microgrid applications behind the electricity meter.

For any utility-scale projects, the parties will work on a non-exclusive basis.

"The framework agreement will be rolled out within an operational concept and aim, consisting of an initial stage focused on planning, preparation and the delivery of at least two proof of concept projects and a continuous production stage, focused on the delivery of a commonly agreed project pipeline, which is expected to exceed at least 1 GW over the course of the five-year term," Kibo said on May 17.

“As Kibo is aggressively rolling out its Sustainable and Renewable Energy Strategy, we are delighted to announce this dynamic arrangement with a leading flow battery producer.

“The development of a large project pipeline ready for immediate execution is the main pivot on which the framework agreement hinges. Being able to draw upon the expertise and proven products of CellCube will fill a mission, which is critical gap in the Kibo value proposition,” said Kibo CEO Louis Coetzee.

“In this regard, we are proud to have entered into this partnership, thereby positioning Kibo to explore its pipeline of energy storage projects in cooperation with a technology and market leader in future-proof storage solutions.

“We look forward to working with CellCube in this regard. The growing energy market in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and, particularly energy-starved South Africa, makes the case for energy storage more viable,” he added.

Kibo has been granted selective exclusive rights for marketing, sales, configuration and delivery within targeted SADC countries, focused on specified target sectors and behind the meter installations, and within a commonly agreed project pipeline, subject to specific milestones being achieved by both parties, including the delivery of the proof of concepts.

Further, Kibo intends to develop an order pipeline with firm yearly commitments from its already existing project pipeline of up to 21 200 installations, ranging from small-scale 40 kWh to larger 2 000 kWh systems per installation, in target sectors, including information and communications technology towers, gated communities, shopping centres and commercial parks.

Additionally, the parties will also review an already identified bespoke renewable energy microgrid project pipeline. Specified proof of concept projects in relation to the agreed target sectors and areas are to be ordered by June 30.

“Kibo will establish and maintain the capability and capacity to act as a project developer and an integrator of the CellCube solutions, subject to audit and certification by CellCube.

“At any future time that CellCube may establish a local assembly line, Kibo has been granted a first right of refusal to any production output delivering CellCube core components or CellCube technology within the target region as long as firm order commitments are made by Kibo,” the company said.

CellCube is executing on its strategic view with a value proposition aligned to identified partners in its core regions of activity, for which South Africa is key, said CellCube CEO Alexander Schönfeldt.

“It is exciting to see that the time has come that VRFBs are able to address a gigawatt-sized pipeline. Kibo has shown that it understands the LDES space and the activity that is needed to unlock value in the nascent long-duration vanadium redox-flow application.

“CellCube offers a bankable product and we are well positioned and look forward to building on these initial steps with Kibo to realising a vanadium-based energy storage vision for the region,” he said.

Bushveld Energy, a subsidiary of vertically integrated vanadium producer Bushveld Minerals, owns a 25.25% interest in CellCube.