JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Aim-listed Bushveld Minerals’ newly established subsidiary, Bushveld Energy, is a step closer to its ambitions of developing market opportunities for vanadium-redox flow batteries (VRFB) in South Africa, as it teams up with development finance institution the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to determine the economic viability of VRFB.
The duo on Monday signed a cooperation agreement that would see the commissioning of a feasibility study to assess VRFB viability and costs in the South African market, including studies of the market potential for VRFB systems across the continent.
“Africa's insufficient power infrastructure and rapidly growing electricity demand create a unique environment for immediate, mass-scale adoption of energy storage across a variety of use cases,” explained Bushveld Minerals CEO Fortune Mojapelo in an update to shareholders.
“[The agreement] demonstrates support for our vision of the potential for VRFB technology and underscores the opportunity for South Africa to beneficiate its mineral resources further through the development of new industrial opportunities,” he added.
Preparations were already under way by the parties to outline the respective scopes for the market, as well as technoeconomic studies for the local manufacturing of vanadium electrolyte and VRFB system manufacturing in South Africa.
Bushveld and the IDC were also mulling the establishment of two VRFB verification sites of up to 1 MW each to demonstrate performance of the technology and its use in commercial and utility applications.
The agreement also included the identification of potential local and foreign partnerships in support of the roll-out and local manufacturing of VRFBs.