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Home Solar Bboxx raises funding from Trafigura Group to bring clean energy to all in Africa

Bboxx raises funding from Trafigura Group to bring clean energy to all in Africa

by Milcah Lukhanyu
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Bboxx, the solar-powered systems manufacturer, distributor, and financier in developing countries, has received undisclosed funding from commodities trading group Trafigura to bring clean energy to all in Africa.

Operating across Africa and Asia, Bboxx has positively impacted over one million people through clean energy and Trafigura’s minority equity investment will accelerate its clean cooking commitments – a key part of tackling energy poverty and meeting UN SDG 7.

According to Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and Co-Founder of Bboxx: “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. 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.”

In the deal, Bboxx brings its innovative Internet of Things (IoT) technology and Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) Solar Home Systems business to the table while Trafigura, a global leader in LPG 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.

In a statement, James Josling, Head of Africa Energy Trading for Trafigura said: “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. 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 has been applying this expertise to PAYG LPG clean cooking through pilots in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Kenya and recently received funding from USAID to roll out a PAYG LPG clean cooking access programme.

Bboxx also secured a $4 million loan from the Facility for Energy Inclusion Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (FEI OGEF), a debt fund managed by Lion’s Head Global Partners (LHGP). The loan was used accelerate its operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) across Kivu, Ituri and Tshopo provinces with ambitions to expand further in the country.

Inaction on the clean cooking crisis is costing the world over $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.

In December last year, Bboxx, EDF, and SunCulture teamed up with Togo Government to accelerate access to sustainable solar-powered farming for thousands of farmers through a joint-venture dubbed Bboxx EDF Togo.

As part of the partnership, the Government of the country is providing a 50% subsidy to halve the cost of irrigation systems for 5,000 farmers. This is alongside tax exemptions on import duties and VAT on the water pumps, making the product more affordable for the end user – smallholder farmers in Togo. This builds on the “CIZO cheque” subsidy launched in 2019 by the Togo Government, which made solar energy more affordable to help overcome energy poverty.

Supplied by solar irrigation provider SunCulture, EDF’s partner and affiliate in Kenya, Bboxx EDF Togo will be deploying the water pumps and arranging financing for customers. EDF brings its hands-on expertise in the sale and installation of off-grid solutions in Central and West African markets.

The water pumps will be integrated with Bboxx Pulse®, Bboxx’s comprehensive management platform using Internet of Things (IoT) technology, allowing for remote management and monitoring. The services will be provided on the same pay-as-you-go (PAYG) model used by Bboxx’s Solar Home Systems (SHSs). Working as part of the Togo Government’s national electrification “CIZO” programme, Bboxx EDF Togo already has a substantial footprint and network in the country and have positively impacted over 120,000 citizens’ lives to domestic off-grid solar kits offering access to clean, reliable and affordable energy.

Recently, Bboxx appointed Anthony Osijo as its new Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Head of Relationship Management, to support the company on its accelerated growth trajectory. Anthony Osijo’s new core responsibilities will be to lead the finance, accounting and relationship function of the global business. He takes on the role as Bboxx’s former Group CFO Thomas Chevillotte joins French consulting firm Enea Consulting.

Anthony has worked as Managing Director responsible for Credit Agricole’s debt product sales and strategy and has worked across the globe in the UK, Europe and Asia – from a large Swedish Pension Fund, to UBS as a Director in the Equity Derivatives business, and to Deutsche Bank in Switzerland as Head of Investment Banking. At Credit Agricole in Hong Kong, he worked on developing the business in Asia as COO and Head of Business Development and was Treasurer of ASIFMA (Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association). Osijo has raised millions for start-ups and sits on numerous charitable boards.

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