Oct 14, 2020

CrossBoundary Energy: Unlocking Capital To Power Africa

ABInbev
CrossBoundary Energy
Energy
Africa
Sean Galea-Pace
2 min
CrossBoundary Energy: Unlocking Capital To Power Africa
We examine ABinBev's partner CrossBoundary Energy and examine its position as Africa's leading supplier of cheaper, cleaner electricity for business...

CrossBoundary Energy is Africa’s leading supplier of cheaper, cleaner electricity for business.

The firm is the only commercial owner and operator with on-the-ground experience managing solar in Africa for corporate customers. CrossBoundary Energy (CBE) believes that megawatts speaks louder than words and Africa’s top brands have chosen CBE as their solar energy supplier of choice.

CBE is part of the CrossBoundary Group which is a mission-driven investment organisation with a drive to harness the power of capital to make a strong return while creating a lasting difference in frontier markets.

The organisation takes a transaction-centric approach to frontier markets and provides investment advisory services, having developed a specialised expertise in unlocking investment across all industries across fragile and frontier markets. Its advisory clients include governments, development finance institutions, private equity firms, Fortune 100 companies and research institutions.

Earlier this year, CBE received US$16.5mn in funding from ARCH Emerging Markets Partners’ Africa Renewable Power Fund (ARCH ARPF) to develop and finance new Commercial & Industrial solar assets that will provide businesses across Africa with access to cheaper, cleaner power. 

CBE has pioneered the solar-as-a-service business model in Africa through which corporate customers avoid upfront capital expenditure and instead enter into long-term solar service agreements. Under these agreements, CBE in collaboration with local developers and solar contractors, finances, installs and operates solar assets that provide customers with cleaner and cheaper power. CBE has already developed landmark projects in Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana and Nigeria with its clients including Unilever, Diageo, Heineken, Actis and leading local companies.

This additional funding will allow CBE to reach new markets and customers across Africa and deploy solar PV and battery storage solutions that decrease energy costs, improve power reliability and decrease carbon emissions. 

Pieter Joubert, Chief Investment Officer at CrossBoundary Energy, commented: “Partnering with an industry leading investor like ARCH ARPF highlights the proven viability of captive commercial and industrial solar projects in Africa.

“We’re very excited to work with ARCH ARPF to continue providing Africa’s leading businesses with cheaper, cleaner, more reliable power at no upfront cost. This commitment by ARCH ARPF represents the first phase of a larger transaction which will allow us to take the C&I sector to scale across Africa, and in doing so reduce energy costs for our customers, create additional jobs within the solar sector, and significantly reduce carbon emissions.” 

CrossBoundary delivers 30MW of solar for businesses across Africa. With a good track record, the organisation is laser-focused on providing solutions that work for organisations throughout the region. 

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Oct 19, 2020

Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process

cleantech
manganese
USA
Scott Birch
3 min
Nevada firm aims to become the primary manganese producer in the United States
Nevada firm aims to become the primary manganese producer in the United States...

Itronics - a Nevada-based emerging cleantech materials growth company that manufacturers fertilisers and produces silver - has successfully tested two proprietary processes that recover manganese, with one process recovering manganese, potassium and zinc from paste produced by processing non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The second recovers manganese via the company’s Rock Kleen Technology.

Manganese, one of the four most important industrial metals and widely used by the steel industry, has been designated by the US Federal Government as a "critical mineral." It is a major component of non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, one of the largest battery categories sold globally.

The use of manganese in EV batteries is increasing as EV battery technology is shifting to use of more nickel and manganese in battery formulations. But according to the US Department of Interior, there is no mine production of manganese in the United States. As such, Itronics is using its Rock Kleen Technology to test metal recoverability from mine tailings obtained from a former silver mine in western Nevada that has a high manganese content. 

In a statement, Itronics says that its Rock Kleen process recovers silver, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and nickel. The company says that it has calculated – based on laboratory test results – that if a Rock Kleen tailings process is put into commercial production, the former mine site would become the only primary manganese producer in the United States.

Itronics adds that it has also tested non-rechargeable alkaline battery paste recovered by a large domestic battery recycling company to determine if it could use one of its hydrometallurgical processes to solubilize the manganese, potassium, and zinc contained in the paste. This testing was successful, and Itronics was able to produce material useable in two of its fertilisers, it says.

"We believe that the chemistry of the two recovery processes would lend itself to electrochemical recovery of the manganese, zinc, and other metals. At this time electrochemical recovery has been tested for zinc and copper,” says Dr John Whitney, Itronics president. 

“Itronics has been reviewing procedures for electrochemical recovery of manganese and plans to move this technology forward when it is appropriate to do so and has acquired electro-winning equipment needed to do that.

"Because of the two described proprietary technologies, Itronics is positioned to become a domestic manganese producer on a large scale to satisfy domestic demand. The actual manganese products have not yet been defined, except for use in the Company's GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilisers. However, the Company believes that it will be able to produce chemical manganese products as well as electrochemical products," he adds.

Itronics’ research and development plant is located in Reno, about 40 miles west of the Tesla giga-factory. Its planned cleantech materials campus, which will be located approximately 40 miles south of the Tesla factory, would be the location where the manganese products would be produced.

Panasonic is operating one of the world's largest EV battery factories at the Tesla location. However, Tesla and other companies have announced that EV battery technology is shifting to use of nickel-manganese batteries. Itronics is positioned and located to become a Nevada-0based supplier of manganese products for battery manufacturing as its manganese recovery technologies are advanced, the company states.

A long-term objective for Itronics is to become a leading producer of high purity metals, including the U.S. critical metals manganese and tin, using the Company's breakthrough hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and electrochemical technologies. ‘Additionally, Itronics is strategically positioned with its portfolio of "Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies" to help solve the recently declared emergency need for domestic production of Critical Minerals from materials located at mine sites,’ the statement continues.

The Company's growth forecast centers upon its 10-year business plan designed to integrate its Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies and to grow annual sales from $2 million in 2019, to $113 million in 2025.

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