June 1, 2021
Subject: News / Press release
Since 2017, Polarium has helped American Tower Corporation’s (ATC’s) African subsidiary minimize greenhouse gas emissions and its overall carbon footprint as it transitions away from diesel fuel as the primary fuel source at its sites to energy storage built on lithium-ion battery technology. Both companies are now taking their partnership and shared vision in sustainability to the next level, whereby Polarium will establish a factory in South Africa to produce energy storage solutions for use in Africa.
Energy storage for telecom tower sites has historically been a costly and challenging issue. A significant number of wireless telecommunication sites in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to reliable power grid infrastructure and, as such, have had to primarily rely on costly diesel fuel generators for power generation.
In 2017, Polarium initiated a strategic partnership with ATC – one of the world’s largest communications infrastructure providers with approximately 187,000 communications sites – to drive the transition from diesel generators to lithium battery technology as the de facto source of power backup across their Africa portfolio.
“A vital part of ATC’s sustainability program is to rely more on renewable energy solutions to power our communications sites, which fits squarely with the Government of South Africa’s goal of adding more renewable sources to its energy mix and decreasing its dependence on coal by 2030. Having a partner like Polarium enables us to harness renewable energy sources more effectively. By switching to Polarium’s high-end lithium-powered backup solutions, we have reduced our Scope 1 emissions and reliance on fossil fuels by over 50% since 2018.”, says Tuoyo Ebigbeyi, Chief Technical Officer of ATC Africa.
ATC has signed a multimillion-dollar lithium-ion battery bulk purchase agreement with Polarium, which will support a new energy storage manufacturing plant in South Africa while securing thousands of lithium-powered backup solutions for ATC’s Africa markets over the next few years.
“We are very happy that our strategic partnership with ATC continues, as Polarium and ATC are both committed to drive the transition to a more sustainable telecom tower infrastructure. With this deal, we also strengthen our presence in sub-Saharan Africa. The production in our new factory will be in line with our sustainability goal of being carbon neutral by 2030”, says Stefan Jansson, founder and CEO of Polarium.
Polarium will now have production on three continents – North America, Africa, and Asia – which strengthen its supply chain even further. The company is currently evaluating possible locations in South Africa for the new factory. Around 200 to 300 people will be directly employed in the factory, and equally as many sub-contractors are needed.
Once established, the new factory will be able to produce about 100,000 batteries per year, with the flexibility to expand to 300,000 batteries per year. The first orders from the factory can be placed in the first half of 2022.
Polarium provides energy storage solutions built on lithium-ion technology for the telecom, commercial, and industrial segments. Polarium’s headquarters and R&D center are situated in Sweden, with manufacturing based in Mexico and Vietnam. Polarium serves customers worldwide through its global sales channels and presence in Indonesia, New Zealand, Sweden, South Africa, the UK, and the US. Today, our market-leading solutions are in use on all continents and all climate zones – from the Equator to the Arctic – ensuring that the flow of energy never stops, while enabling our customers to reduce energy costs and carbon footprint.
American Tower, one of the largest global REITs, is a leading independent owner, operator and developer of multitenant communications real estate with a portfolio of approximately 187,000 communications sites. For more information about American Tower, please visit www.americantower.com.
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