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BB Energy Launches its ‘Power Trading’ Business in the Southern African Development Community

BB Energy Group has announced the establishment of its new ‘Power Trading’ business, which represents a key pillar of its fast-growing Renewable division.

BB Energy 20 July 2022

As part of its strategic transition to cleaner energy, BB Energy is leveraging the long history and multi-decade trading expertise in Africa to start trading power in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Mark Sims, a South African national, will be leading the team as the newly appointed Head of the Power Trading Desk.  Mark comes with an impressive 35 years of experience with ESKOM, the national power utility in South Africa, where he worked in the international trading department for the last 15 years, eight of which as the Senior Manager of the department. He was also a member of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) operating sub-committee and the market sub-committee, where he was instrumental in developing and growing the power trading across 12 interconnected countries covering over 130 million people.

BB Energy aims to become one of the first merchant players to trade on the SAPP markets. This will be achieved through the leading position of Solarcentury Africa, our renewable company, which will help develop and secure the reliable supply of green power.

Consequently, Solarcentury Africa has signed a Joint Development Agreement to co-develop a Solar Plant in Namibia. The Solar Plant will be one of the first developed merchant plants capable to sell its electrons directly to large industrial and mining customers in Namibia, as well as export power through the SAPP network.

The development of the Solar Plant forms part of BB Energy’s strategy to selectively own cleaner energy assets, which will in turn leverage the synergies across the Group’s trading experience, Solarcentury Africa renewable knowhow, and the carbon and power trading desks’ expertise.

Mohamed Bassatne, CEO of BB Energy group said: “We are excited to enter the power trading market in Africa, a region where electricity generation and consumption are fast-growing. This represents a unique opportunity for BB Energy to become a major player in the space by applying the best-practices the Group has developed over the years.”

“BB Energy has embarked on a transformational journey towards cleaner energy; we always strive to adapt our energy mix and embrace innovation. Our investments into the establishment of a power trading division, as well as into solar power, carbon credits, and e-mobility projects, re-affirm the Group’s long-term energy transition strategy and our continued support of the path to Net Zero,” added the CEO.

Chahid Jarmouni, BBE Global Head of Renewables and New Ventures said: “I am very pleased that Mark Sims has joined us. Mark’s experience will certainly be instrumental in establishing a successful new line of business for our Group. Getting into the power trading and green assets ownership are the logical next steps of the Renewable strategy, which we have started to implement in the last few years. We are happy to contribute to the energy transition in Africa, and hope that our efforts will help create a sustainable long-term impact for the people and the communities.”

Mark Sims, Head of the Power Trading Desk said: “I look forward to be working with a global trading company such as BB Energy, which has decades of history in the energy markets and in Africa.  BB Energy’s ambitious plans to develop renewable energy projects and to trade on a merchant basis illustrate our confidence in the opening of more electricity markets.  We look forward to leveraging this unique expertise to contribute to tackling the power challenges in the SADC region while increasing liquidity and transparency on SAPP.”

Media Contacts
Karim Bassatne and/or Lara Koujou
T: +971 4 432 8300

BB Energy was established in 1937 and today is one of the world’s leading independent energy trading companies, with a fast-growing renewable energy and emission reduction division. The company has 474 employees in 12 offices spanning five continents, with key trading hubs in London, Dubai, Singapore, and Houston.

Solarcentury Africa is a market leader in the development of solar PV and storage projects with a decade of experience across multiple African countries. Solarcentury Africa is a vertically integrated developer using cutting edge design, smart technologies, and robust controls to generate clean and economical power for businesses, communities, and investors. Solarcentury Africa is part of the BB Energy Group.

Media Contacts

Karim Bassatne
Head of Corporate Communications
T: +971 4 432 8300