South Africa – The Chamber of Mines of South Africa in partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Department of Trade and Industry (Dti) will on the 31th March launch the first commercial fuel cell to be deployed in the country.
The launch will be officiated by Dr. Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry together with leadership of the mining industry.
After years of planning and development, the Chamber has taken possession of “Africa’s first building base load fuel cell on natural gas” that will power its office block in the Johannesburg CBD. Using such advanced technology to generate power in a building that is steeped in almost 100 years of history, is truly a significant milestone for technology in our country.
The venture began four years ago, when the Chamber in partnership with The Dti, the IDC, Egoli Gas and the Mitochondria Energy Company, embarked on a project to demonstrate the applicability of fuel cell technology to South Africa, to promote local fabrication, beneficiation and platinum off-take and to be a “first mover” in a new South African application technology project.
The Chamber’s primary goal about this project is to; demonstrate the potential of the market to the large Japanese fabrication companies, the utilisation of one of South Africa’s core commodities, in this instance platinum in the generation of energy, and to encourage the localisation of production of fuel cell technology for the South African and African markets through effective beneficiation.
The suitability of the Chamber of Mines of South Africa as the home to the first commercial fuel cell could not be over emphasised as the industry seeks to promote the country as the preferred mining jurisdiction.
This development is particularly exciting against the backdrop of the energy challenges our country has been faced with.