Bboxx and Trafigura to accelerate progress on UN SDG 7 in Africa
London and Singapore, 4 February 2021 - Bboxx, a next generation utility, is partnering with Trafigura, one of the world’s leading independent commodity trading companies, to accelerate progress on meeting United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7 (UN SDG 7) – clean energy for all – in Africa.
Bboxx manufactures, distributes and finances decentralised solar powered systems in developing countries, operating across Africa and Asia, and in the ten years since Bboxx was founded, it has positively impacted over one million people through clean energy. Trafigura’s minority equity investment comes as Bboxx embarks on the next phase of its growth and accelerates its clean cooking commitments – a key part of tackling energy poverty and meeting UN SDG 7.
Inaction on the clean cooking crisis is costing the world over USD2.4 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.
This landmark agreement brings together complementary expertise to fast-track progress on clean cooking access in Africa. Bboxx’s innovative Internet of Things (IoT) technology and experience from its established Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) Solar Home Systems business, are all needed to deliver clean cooking in a scalable and distributed model. Bboxx has been applying this expertise to PAYG LPG clean cooking through pilots in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Kenya. It has been ramping up efforts in the DRC after receiving funding from USAID to roll out a PAYG LPG clean cooking access programme.
As a global leader in LPG, Trafigura 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.
Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and Co-Founder of Bboxx commented: “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.”
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.”
*World Bank, Nearly Half the World’s Population Still Lacks Access to Modern Energy Cooking Services, 24 September 2020
Notes to editors
Bboxx is a next generation utility, transforming lives and unlocking potential through access to energy. Bboxx manufactures, distributes and finances decentralised solar powered systems in developing countries. It is scaling through forging strategic partnerships and its innovative technology Bboxx Pulse®, a comprehensive management platform using IoT technology. Through affordable, reliable, and clean utility provision, Bboxx is bringing people into the digital economy, creating new markets, and enabling economic development in off-grid communities and those living without a reliable grid connection. The company is positively impacting the lives of more than one million people with its products and services in over 35 markets, directly contributing to 11 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
So far, Bboxx has deployed more than 350,000 solar home systems. Bboxx has over 800 staff across nine offices including in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, and Togo, with its head office in the UK and its manufacturing operations in China. In 2019, Bboxx was the winner of the Zayed Sustainability Prize in the Energy category – testament to the way the company is making a meaningful difference to people’s lives around the world.
Founded in 1993, Trafigura is one of the largest physical commodities trading groups in the world. Trafigura sources, stores, transports and delivers a range of raw materials (including oil and refined products and metals and minerals) to clients around the world and has recently established a power and renewables trading division.
The trading business is supported by industrial and financial assets, including a majority ownership of global zinc and lead producer Nyrstar which has mining, smelting and other operations located in Europe, Americas and Australia; a significant shareholding in global oil products storage and distribution company Puma Energy; global terminals, warehousing and logistics operator Impala Terminals; Trafigura's Mining Group; and Galena Asset Management.
With circa 850 shareholders, Trafigura is owned by its employees. Over 8,500 employees work in 48 countries around the world. Trafigura has achieved substantial growth over recent years, growing revenue from USD12 billion in 2003 to USD147 billion in 2020. The Group has been connecting its customers to the global economy for more than two decades, growing prosperity by advancing trade.