Fortune Mojapelo, CEO of Bushveld Minerals, commented:
“In the second quarter, the first ever vanadium redox flow battery was delivered to South Africa. As the integrator for the project, Bushveld Energy and its team have been able to expand its expertise on project delivery and implementation. This has significantly assisted to build our capability to develop and deliver energy storage projects across the African continent.
This project has shown that utility scale batteries can be delivered in only months. Simultaneously, we are advancing the component manufacturing aspect of our business, where we are building flexibility for quick expansion. This strategy allows us to keep initial risk lower with an ability to capitalise should growth in energy storage materialise even faster than expected. With these efforts, Bushveld Energy is positioning itself in Africa with a unique combination of technical skills and component supply to deliver energy storage solutions.”
Bushveld Minerals Limited (LON:BMN), the AIM listed, integrated primary vanadium producer, with ownership of high grade vanadium assets, provided a Q2 operational update for its 84%-owned energy subsidiary, Bushveld Energy Limited.
Operational Highlights for the second quarter
Eskom Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries project:
· Bushveld Energy and the Industrial Development Corporation received delivery of the first vanadium redox flow battery (“VRFB”) from UniEnergy Technologies (“UET”) in South Africa. This included the mixed-acid vanadium electrolyte that will be used in the battery;
· The utility scale battery was delivered within months of the order being made;
· Bushveld Energy’s team is performing all the integration work related to the VRFB at the Eskom Research and Innovation (“ERIC”) micro-grid site in Roshverville, South Africa;
· All site preparation work has been completed at ERIC;
· Preparation of the VRFB controls for integration to Eskom’s existing site controller at the facility is complete;
· Two technicians from Bushveld Energy were trained on the installation, operation and maintenance of the VRFB at UET’s production facility in the USA. The training will continue during the commissioning process which is expected to conclude in July, as UET is sending two engineers to South Africa to oversee the process; and
· Bushveld Energy and Eskom expect to receive initial data on the VRFB’s performance at the facility during the coming quarter. The analysis of the results will help to inform the technical and commercial merits of future energy storage projects.
Vanadium electrolyte production facility:
· Bushveld Energy awarded the contract to perform an Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”) to a South African consultancy for the greenfield facility in the East London Industrial Development Zone (“ELIDZ”);
· Based on recommendations from the consultant, a full EIA will be performed, rather than a basic assessment as originally envisaged;
· The EIA will cover both the initial 200MWh capacity for the plant and allow for future production expansion;
· While this will require up to three months for community engagement and other processes, the long-term benefit will be the ability to increase capacity without securing another EIA;
· An EIA is also required for the chemicals plant that will be co-located with Bushveld’s existing mining and processing facility at the Vametco vanadium mine. This application will be combined with Vametco’s overall expansion application and thus not add any additional time or cost to Vametco’s EIA process, highlighting an example of the synergies of vertical integration in Bushveld’s business model; and
· The project remains on track to produce electrolyte in 2019 for South African and international markets.