Trafigura acquires minority stake in solar company Bboxx

AFRICA – Global commodities trading company Trafigura has purchased a minority stake in UK utility company Bboxx to accelerate progress on meeting United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7, clean energy for all, in Africa. The size of the stake and the value of the deal have not been disclosed.

Trafigura’s minority equity investment comes as Bboxx embarks on the next phase of its growth and accelerates its clean cooking commitments – a key part of tackling energy poverty and meeting UN SDG 7.

Inaction on the clean cooking crisis is costing the world over US$2.4 trillion each year. The use of charcoal and wood result in significant emissions of greenhouse gases and black soot, as well as deforestation.

The lack of modern cooking solutions also has negative health and gender equality consequences, and results in lost economic opportunities. Access to modern clean cooking services using Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is significantly cleaner and a vital step in the energy transition to low and zero-carbon sources.

This landmark agreement brings together complementary expertise to fast-track progress on clean cooking access in Africa. Bboxx’s innovative Internet of Things (IoT) technology and experience from its established Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) Solar Home Systems business, are all needed to deliver clean cooking in a scalable and distributed model.

“We are committed to tackling energy poverty in all its forms – and it is unacceptable that in 2021 billions of people still live without access to clean cooking facilities,” Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and Co-Founder of Bboxx said.

“The world is still a long way off meeting UN SDG 7 – clean energy for all – and by forging partnerships and working with major global firms like Trafigura, we can turbocharge progress to unlock potential and transform even more lives for the better.”

Bboxx has been applying this expertise to PAYG LPG clean cooking through pilots in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Kenya. It has been ramping up efforts in the DRC after receiving funding from USAID to roll out a PAYG LPG clean cooking access programme.

As a global leader in LPG, Trafigura will play a major role in the future supply growth of LPG across Africa.

Trafigura has recently set targets to reduce its operational greenhouse gas emissions and is committed to accelerating the energy transition through its Power and Renewables division, which is investing in renewable energy projects and building a portfolio of investments in innovative renewable technology firms.

“Trafigura’s investment in Bboxx forms part of our strategy to continue to develop markets for LPG as a lower carbon fuel for clean cooking,” James Josling, Head of Africa Energy Trading for Trafigura said.

“Bboxx’s innovative business models and proven expertise in providing renewable energy services make it an ideal company to collaborate with and an attractive investment for Trafigura.”

Bboxx manufactures, distributes and finances decentralised solar powered systems in developing countries, operating across Africa and Asia, and in the ten years since Bboxx was founded, it has positively impacted over one million people through clean energy.

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