Groupe E and Platinum Power form African renewables venture
Morocco-based Platinum Power, a pan-African renewable energy specialist, and Swiss utility Groupe E have founded a joint venture to provide engineering services for projects undertaken by Platinum.
Groupe E will hold an interest of 35 percent in the new organisation, called Sarine Engineering, with Platinum Power holding the remaining 65 percent.
Platinum has an existing portfolio of 25 clean energy projects — including wind, solar and hydro facilities — across Morocco, Ivory Coast and Cameroon. Eventually, it hopes to expand operations across the rest of the African Continent, where only five percent of hydropower potential is being utilised.
Groupe E will provide consulting and support to Platinum Power at its existing and planned construction sites.
The total investment in Sarine Engineering’s projects is €4 billion and their eventual capacity will be approximately 2,000MW. Ultimately, the new organisation plans to expand and offer its services to companies other than Platinum Power.
Sarine Engineering will commence its activities in late August with a first fact-finding mission.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.