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Kibo Energy signs collaboration agreement with ESS Tech Inc.

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Coal,

Kibo Energy PLC, the multi-asset, Africa-focused, energy company, has signed a collaboration agreement with ESS Tech Inc. (ESS), a leader in the design, manufacture, supply and installation of long-duration energy storage technology products and services for the power sector, to develop suitable base-load electricity storage solutions. This agreement is in line with Kibo's strategy of incorporating long-term renewable energy solutions into its existing coal power projects and is a critical component of its corporate strategy aimed at providing sustainable energy solutions that are environmentally and economically feasible.



  • ESS selected as Kibo's preferred electricity storage technology partner.
  • Agreement opens new avenues for Kibo in terms of renewable co-generation with its coal power projects.
  • ESS' iron flow battery offers a multi-decade operating lifetime, as well as multi-cycle capabilities with no loss of performance, and is one of the safest batteries available, using only salt, iron and water.
  • Initial focus on Kibo's three African projects with the possibility of expanding into new opportunities in the future.

Louis Coetzee, CEO of Kibo Energy, commented: "The inclusion of renewable energy into power station designs allows for higher availability figures from a technical point of view and provides better fundability options. With this in mind and given that storage capacity is an essential component of realising renewable energy in base-load applications, we are delighted to have access to ESS's technology. This opens new avenues for Kibo in terms of renewable co-generation with our coal power projects, an idea which is currently being developed for first application in the Benga Power Plant Project (BPPP), and ultimately provides us with a significant advantage over competitors.


The addition of ESS to our partner team is a massive opportunity to establish the notion of co-located renewable and clean-burning fossil fuel base-load energy towards a single combined objective: sensible, sustainable, economic growth. ESS has a good understanding of the developing world; we are delighted to be working with its team and look forward to building a mutually beneficial relationship."


Collaboration agreement

As part of its strategy focused on incorporating long-term renewable energy solutions into its existing coal power projects, Kibo has signed a collaborative agreement with ESS (together the parties), a global leader in the design, manufacture, supply and installation of electricity storage technology products and services for the power sector. Having recognised the increasing need to generate reliable, sustainable, cost-effective and efficient electricity, the parties will actively develop energy storage solutions, initially focused on Kibo's three African projects, Mbeya Coal to Power Project (MCPP), Mabesekwa Coal Independent Power Project (MCIPP), and Benga Power Plant Project (BPPP) (together the Projects), with the possibility of expanding this collaboration into new opportunities in the future.


There has been a growing need to combine energy and power applications into a single flexible and valuable long-duration storage asset in the base-load environment. To this end, ESS has developed an iron flow battery technology, which offers unlimited cycling capability, zero degradation, no hazardous materials, wide range of operating temperatures, and the lowest cost of service for long-duration applications. Importantly, ESS technology can help power producers and/or utilities defer major capital expenditures on distribution equipment by time shifting/storing energy during times of lower demand or excess supply and releasing energy when demand peaks. Power producers and/or utilities can easily communicate with ESS systems installed at end-user sites to dynamically manage customer electricity consumption in response to current electricity supplies. The innovative energy storage systems of ESS also help with frequency regulation and other ancillary services and can reduce a utility's dependence on fossil fuel generation plants, shifting to a more sustainable model over time.


The key terms of the collaboration agreement state that ESS will:

  • Provide Kibo with technical advice and support for its feasibility and related studies;
  • Collaborate with Kibo to actively develop, create and facilitate new project opportunities, and to work with Kibo towards securing funding and creating funding opportunities for the various Projects;
  • Assist the company in its efforts to secure Power Purchase Agreements and to socialise the Projects with related governments and appropriate authorities and stakeholders;
  • Provide information to the Owner's Engineer (OE) to maximise required plant technical specification and performance, and where applicable mitigate to OE costs payable by Kibo;
  • Provide access to designated Project stakeholders to selected ESS technical material related to storage technology equipment; and
  • Be the preferred electricity storage technology partner to Kibo for the projects.

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