Mitochondria Energy Company secures funding for feasibility study of stationary fuel cell energy solution

SOUTH AFRICA – Development finance institutions, the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), have committed project development funding to Mitochondria Energy Company, a South African business that was established with the purpose of providing affordable, reliable and sustainable energy services.

The funding will be used to complete the bankable feasibility study of a stationary fuel cell energy solution. The project aims to strengthen the energy sector in South Africa by developing a locally-produced fuel cell technology.

“The IDC is excited to co-develop this project that will localise the manufacture of fuel cell units ensuring that the technology and intellectual property is South Africa-based. The IDC’s funding will go towards the completion of the bankable feasibility study phase of Project Phoenix,” said IDC energy head Christo Fourie.

“Project Phoenix will support the IDC’s developmental objectives by creating jobs; increasing demand for locally produced minerals like chromium, iron and zirconium; replacing imported power generation equipment; localisation of the manufacture of some of the fuel cell components; and supporting a black industrialist venture.

Mitochondria’s aim is to realise South African economic and manufacturing dividend by achieving global competitiveness in fuel technology, not excluding the potential for significant foreign earnings.

Mashudu Ramano – CEO, Mitochondria

“This project will eventually contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases and is aligned to the IDC clean energy strategy.”

The primary objectives of this project are to design a 250 kW fuel cell system; building a facility to commercially manufacture the fuel cell units; and the commercial manufacturing and sale of the fuel cell units.

The secondary objectives of the project include stimulating the demand for fuel cell energy generation systems to encourage its use as a source of cleaner energy in industries; and promoting the use of combined heat and power (CHP) from fuel cells.

“We are thrilled to have the IDC and the DBSA join us in developing a solution that can harness local demand to drive new industry formation at this critical time in our country and lay the foundation for the country to be a serious player in the emerging hydrogen economy,” said Mitochondria CEO Mashudu Ramano.

“Mitochondria’s aim is to realise South African economic and manufacturing dividend by achieving global competitiveness in fuel technology, not excluding the potential for significant foreign earnings.

“This partnership with our country’s leading development finance institutions, supports the long-term vision of Mitochondria to stimulate the demand for fuel cell energy generation systems in Africa.”

Fuel cells cleanly and efficiently convert chemical energy from hydrogen-rich fuels into electrical power and high-quality heat via an electrochemical process that is efficient and emits water rather than pollutants as there is no burning of the fuel.

FuelCell Energy’s SureSource power plants are based on carbonate fuel cell technology. The carbonate fuel cell derives its name from its electrolyte, which consists of potassium and lithium carbonates.

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