Following key acquisitions which included the Mabesekwa Coal Independent Power Project (MCIPP) in Botswana, the Benga Power Plant Project (BPPP) in Mozambique, and a 60% equity interest in Mast Energy Developments Limited (MED) in the UK, hese projects together with Mbeya Coal to Power Project in Tanzania have positioned the Company to be a global energy developer with a pipeline of projects which have seen steady development progress during 2019 and early 2020.
A key focus of Kibo strategy was to aggressively pursue options to incorporate sustainable technologies and climate change mitigation measures in all its project development plans.
“We believe that coal fired power plants that incorporate clean coal burning technologies and other greenhouse gas emission containment measures will play a significant role in addressing Africa’s and the World’s increasing demand for reliable, sustainable and affordable electricity in the transition away from fossil fuels,” said Christian Schaffalitzky, Chairman, on 22 September 2020.
“However, we do not underestimate the urgency to transition from fossil fuels and in this context the Company is embarking on an innovative strategy with its partners in Africa to co-locate solar generation plants and long term battery storage capacity with its coal fired power plants in order to balance base load power output and begin the transition.
“Our ultimate aim is to phase out coal fired electricity generation over the long term at our projects commensurate with technology advances in renewable generation and energy storage. In addition to our existing strong collaboration and partner agreements with SEPCOIII, GE and ABSA who share our vision for the development of our coal projects with integrated sustainable technologies, we signed two further critical collaboration agreement during 2019.”
The first of these is with US energy storage technology company, ESS Tech Inc., a leading innovator in the development of high capacity long life batteries to facilitate renewable power storage. As a preferred technology partner, ESS will support and advise Kibo on the installation of renewable power at its African project sites which will enhance the Company’s ability to secure funding and negotiate power purchase agreements as well as generating new project opportunities.
ESS is already partnering with USAID division, Power Africa, which is implementing an ambitious programme to expand access to grid connectivity throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
The second collaboration agreement is with the German company, STEAG Energy Services, a major international operator with 80 years’ experience in engineering, construction, and operation of power plants.
Significantly, STEAG’s proprietary technologies are not just focussed on coal but span renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and battery storage. This is a significant partnership for Kibo as it puts STEAG’s proven experience in power plant development and management at Kibo’s disposal but most significantly enables the company, in conjunction with ESS’s battery technology, to implement sustainable energy solutions at its coal projects in line with its corporate strategy.
On the operations front, Kibo is making good progress on its African project portfolio but understandably, patience is required as the company navigates the challenge of operating in three different countries with individual governments, local and international JV partners and various collaborators.
Highlights of 2019 include the securing of mining rights in Tanzania for the coal deposit (Rukwa deposit) that underpins Kibo’s Mbeya Coal to Power Project (MCPP), completion of a positive definitive feasibility study, base case financial model and off-take term sheets for the Benga Project in Mozambique and restructuring of our interest in the Mabesekwa Project in Botswana.
Kibo strategy in the UK for the acquisition and development of gas fired reserve generation plants, managed through our 60% owned subsidiary Mast Energy Developments Ltd (MED) has progressed rapidly during 2019 with the first of these, Bordersley Power, in development.
The commissioning of Bordersley will mark Kibo’s first revenue stream and we are confident that it represents the first of a number of other reserve power plants in the Mast pipeline which are being developed in collaboration with key partners to come on-stream over the next 18 months.
In fast-tracking the development of Bordersley, MED has secured critical operational and collaboration agreements with Statkraft Markets, A.B. Energy and Balance Power Projects which in addition to providing for the successful commissioning and long term operation of Bordersley, also provide a foundation for the expedient delivery and fast track commissioning of a pipeline of reserve power plants to achieve our target of 100 MW of reserve power in the short to medium term.