Oil and gas trader B.B. Energy acquires Solarcentury Africa

AFRICA – B.B. Energy (BBE), a London  based oil and gas trader, has announced the acquisition of Solarcentury Africa, the subsidiary of solar energy provider Solarcentury.

Through its local subsidiary, Solarcentury supplies solar energy to industrial and commercial (C&I) customers and its assets will now be part of BBE Renewables, BBE’s subsidiary.

With this transaction, BBE is now targeting the dynamic solar energy market for commercial and industrial (C&I) customers in Africa.

Solarcentury has an installed capacity of 2.1 GW in Africa.

Commenting on the acquisition, Chahid Jarmouni, Global Head of Renewables at B.B. Energy said: “The acquisition of Solar Century Africa is a major step in our energy transition journey. This investment will help us achieve key milestones in our strategy, less than a year after the launch of the renewable energy division. Solarcentury Africa will provide a comprehensive set of in-house technical expertise and experience in the growing solar and battery sector.”

The energy company is also installing solar power plants with battery storage systems for utility companies in Africa.

In Eritrea for instance, Solarcentury Africa has commissioned two hybrid solar plants with a combined capacity of 2.25 MW which belongs to the state-owned Eritrea Electric Corporation (EEC).

“This investment will help us achieve key milestones in our strategy, less than a year after the launch of the renewable energy division. Solarcentury Africa will provide a comprehensive set of in-house technical expertise and experience in the growing solar and battery sector”

Chahid Jarmouni – Global Head of Renewables at B.B Energy

The larger plant, with a capacity of 1.25 MW, is located in Areza, a town in the Debub region in central Africa while the second plant  is located in Maidma with a production capacity of 1 MW.

Both plants consist of solar photovoltaic panels that produce electricity during the day and each plant is connected to lithium batteries manufactured by Tesla, a world leader in electricity storage.

To these components, Solarcentury has added American-made Caterpillar generators and together, the systems provide electricity to 40,000 people in 40 villages, 500 small businesses, 15 schools, 2 kindergartens and 2 community hospitals.

In 2018, Solarcentury East Africa was contracted by CrossBoundary Energy to build a 600kWp solar power plant on a Unilever tea farm in Kenya. The project was a first under the Solarcentury-CrossBoundary Energy partnership entered a year before to boost solar uptake in African markets.

In October of the same year, Solarcentury signed contract with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to install East Africa’s largest airport solar PV plant at Moi International Airport, Mombasa in Kenya.

The solar company  installed a ground-mounted 500kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system at Kenya’s Moi International Airport, Mombasa, that generates 820,000 kWh per year and offset 1,300 tonnes of CO₂ annually. The system was  interconnected to the airport terminal grid and will prioritise consumption of the solar power over the grid.

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