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Solar and Battery Hybrid Power System for the Balama Graphite Mine – Mozambique

Solarcentury Africa is pleased to announce it has reached financial close on a solar PV and battery energy storage hybrid power system for Balama graphite mine (the “Mine”) in Mozambique, owned by Syrah Resources Limited (“Syrah”) of Australia.

BB Energy 6 May 2022

The hybrid power system will deliver clean, reliable power to the Mine resulting in significant operational cost savings and reductions in CO2 emissions. This innovative solution will further strengthen the ESG credentials of Balama graphite mine’s products.

Solarcentury Africa undertook the design, detailed engineering and procurement of, and structured and arranged the funding for, the hybrid power system, working closely with Syrah to ensure the system is optimised for the Mine’s needs. The hybrid power system will comprise a 11.25 MWp solar PV plant combined with an 8.5 MW/MWh battery energy storage system. The new plant will be integrated with the Mine’s existing thermal power generation plant and managed by a hybrid power control system.

The hybrid power system will be delivered under a 10-year build-own-operate-transfer (“BOOT”) arrangement, with a Mozambique incorporated project company in charge of constructing, owning, operating and maintaining the system during the BOOT period before transferring ownership to Syrah at the end of this arrangement. Funding for the project company has been arranged and structured by Solarcentury Africa and will be provided by Sub-Saharan Africa renewable energy IPP CrossBoundary Energy (“CBE”).

Syrah and Solarcentury Africa have obtained all required licences to commence construction of the hybrid power system and full operation is scheduled by the end of Q1 2023.  Solarcentury Africa will continue to work closely with Syrah and CBE during construction, delivery and installation of the hybrid power system up to commercial operation.

The Mine currently relies entirely on diesel power generation and a grid connection is not viable.  The hybrid power system will supply approximately 35% of the Mine’s power needs, resulting in a c. 35% reduction of diesel consumption. At times, the hybrid power system will be able to supply up to 100% of the Mine’s power needs.

Head of Solarcentury Africa, Jason De Carteret, commented “Solarcentury Africa and Syrah have today attained an important milestone reaffirming their commitment to help decarbonise the extractive industry. We are immensely proud of our engineering team who have succeeded in securing this sector-leading renewable energy penetration rate of 35% that will vastly reduce Syrah’s carbon emissions.  Syrah has been an outstanding partner to work with and we are greatly looking forward to the next phase of the implementation.”

Head of Renewables and New Ventures for BB Energy, Chahid Jarmouni, added “We are proud of the ground-breaking design and engineering work the Solarcentury Africa team has delivered to support Syrah. It is also worth noting that the BOOT structure our financial experts have developed, creates an innovative precedent for the funding of the energy transition that our clients and partners are going through. The financial close of this project is a cornerstone achievement for BB Energy as it concretely illustrates how our group is embarked on a transformational journey towards cleaner and greener energy.”

Solarcentury Africa:     Jason de Carteret –
Karim Bassatne,

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.

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 over 400 employees in 16 offices spanning five continents, with key hubs in London, Dubai, Singapore and Houston.

Media Contacts

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