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Development Has Began At Africa’s First Devoted Gigawatt-Hour Battery Manufacturing facility In Cape City


Within the first half of 2023, South Africa imported over $2.5 billion value of photo voltaic panels, inverters, and lithium-ion cells and battery packs. That is in response to evaluation from Johannesburg-based Gaylor Montmasson-Clair, a Senior Economist at Commerce, Industrial Coverage Methods (TIPS). The surge in demand for all of those has been spurred by South Africa’s electrical energy technology shortfall disaster that has resulted in extended intervals of electrical energy rationing often called load-shedding. 2023 has been the worst 12 months of load-shedding on document, with extra load-shedding in 2023 thus far than up to now 5 years mixed!

South African imports of photo voltaic panels, inverters, and lithium-ion cells & battery packs over the previous 10 years. Picture courtesy of Gaylor Montmasson-Clair.

Over the previous 10 years, South Africa has imported over $10 billion value of those parts. This has prompted requires extra localization alongside the worth chain. One sector that has been gaining some traction through the years is the importation of battery cells from among the world’s main producers, comparable to CATL. South African companies then assemble battery packs within the nation, incorporating domestically developed and proprietary battery administration programs, different software program, and different worth addition processes. One of many leaders on this house is Photo voltaic MD.

Having been established in 2015, a mixture of things, together with being prepared and ready on the proper place and proper time, noticed the corporate make a reputation for itself in South Africa. Initially, international battery provide constraints meant that it and some different native battery companies have been properly positioned to fill the hole and meet native demand in South Africa’s nascent residential and small industrial photo voltaic and battery sector.

Photo voltaic MD had began to develop its operations in South Africa and was once more capable of capitalize on the massive demand that was induced by all this load-shedding. An instance of that is when Photo voltaic MD unveiled its 14.3 kWh wall-mounted battery pack for properties and small companies in October 2021. Photo voltaic MD says its 14.3 kWh pack is essentially the most superb possibility for bigger properties because the load-shedding disaster escalates in South Africa. They add that this pack additionally provides individuals on this section extra worth for cash in contrast the usual choices in the marketplace that are largely the 5 kWh packs imported from China. Photo voltaic MD’s 14.3 kWh LFP packs retails for about R85,000 ($4,600).

The insatiable demand for photo voltaic panels and backup battery programs in South Africa has resulted in Photo voltaic MD scaling up its plans once more. Development has now began on a facility that will probably be residence to Africa’s first devoted gigawatt battery storage manufacturing plant. It was a landmark second, mentioned Alderman James Vos, the Metropolis’s Mayoral Committee Member for Financial Development, on the sod-turning ceremony for Photo voltaic MD’s new industrial website in Richmond Park.

The brand new 12,500-square-meter Photo voltaic MD mild industrial website beneath development in Cape City. Picture courtesy of Photo voltaic MD

Extra data on this thrilling growth was launched through a press launch by the Metropolis of Cape City. The Metropolis of Cape City says the brand new 12,500-square-meter Photo voltaic MD mild industrial website will embody workplaces, manufacturing, and storage services, and will probably be 4 occasions the dimensions of the present facility. Photo voltaic MD at the moment produces round 120 batteries per day with plans to extend manufacturing as much as 300 batteries per day as soon as the brand new facility is absolutely up and operating. Its workers part may also improve to 240 from its current 120 staff. The venture, scheduled for completion in Could 2024, is being managed by Atterbury Property.

“This growth marks an thrilling second for Cape City. Not solely does this funding gas Cape City’s drive in direction of a wiser, cleaner, and safer vitality future, however it additionally makes this metro the bottom for the manufacturing of those batteries which can be exported into Africa and Europe,” mentioned Alderman Vos.

Photo voltaic MD has invested over R150 million into its developments since opening in 2015 and plans to speculate near R1 billion over the following 5 years because it expands. The corporate’s progress has been supported by GreenCape, the Metropolis’s Particular Objective Car (SPV) within the inexperienced economic system, in addition to the Metropolis and provincial authorities’s funding promotion accomplice, Wesgro.

“This exhibits the tangible worth of partnering with SPVs. Actually, by supporting firms comparable to Photo voltaic MD, GreenCape helped to facilitate R1,733 billion in investments within the final monetary 12 months for Cape City which led to a whole lot of jobs. Within the subsequent 12 months, we’re going to develop our funding campaigns of Cape City as a inexperienced vitality hub whereas extending abilities growth alternatives to extra communities and small companies,” mentioned Alderman Vos.

That is a powerful growth for South Africa as it’ll assist improve the localization part within the battery worth chain, in addition to create a lot wanted employment alternatives.

Pictures courtesy of Photo voltaic MD


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