Today, Vice Minister-President Hilde Crevits and Energy Minister Zuhal Demir, in the presence of senior Nala Renewables management, drove the first symbolic spade into the ground to mark the start of construction of one of the largest battery energy storage systems ("BESS") in Belgium, located at Nyrstar’s zinc smelting operation in Balen.
The BESS, which represents an investment of 30 million euros, is being developed by Nala Renewables Limited, a joint venture between Nyrstar parent company Trafigura and IFM Investors. Nala Renewables aims to contribute to the shift to renewable energy by initiating projects worldwide with a cumulative generative capacity of four gigawatts to be operating, in construction, or in late-stage development by 2025.
The BESS, Nala Renewables’ first project of its kind, is scheduled to come on stream towards the end of the year. It will provide greater stability to the Belgian electricity grid by helping to balance supply of renewable energy with energy demand.
Deputy Minister-President of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Economy, Innovation, Employment, Social Economy and Agriculture and Sea Fisheries Hilde Crevits: "The future shall be sustainable or shall not be. Renewable energy and energy storage systems are therefore of crucial importance in the transition towards sustainable energy. That is why we, together with the Flemish government, are supporting this BESS project with 1 million euros of Strategic Ecology Support (STRES). With this super battery we are putting Flanders on the map in Europe.”
Zuhal Demir, Flemish Minister of Energy and Environment was also present for the groundbreaking ceremony: "The international energy crisis and Russia's invasion of neighbouring Ukraine make it clearer than ever that we need to invest heavily in clean energy production close to home in order to reduce our dependence on foreign countries. Unfortunately, renewable energy is not available every minute of the day, so it is crucial to provide for its storage. I am therefore extremely pleased that, with this investment it is once again made clear that energy-intensive companies can and will also make the switch to renewable energy."
"Renewable energy sources that depend on the wind and sun generate energy intermittently. This needs to be combined with high-capacity energy storage and systems that can release that energy quickly to match peaks and troughs in electricity generation with changing patterns of demand. Using lithium ion battery technology, the 100 MWh battery project will be able to store 25 MW for at least four hours," said Jasandra Nyker, CEO of Nala Renewables.
"We’re delighted to host this project for Nala Renewables,” said Daniel Vanin, Nyrstar’s CEO. “Thanks to our expertise and facilities, we are already acting as a hotspot that can make the connection between generated green power and the Belgian grid. Nyrstar Balen runs almost entirely on electricity and the BESS fulfils our ambition to produce a completely ‘green zinc’ and to maintain our place at the top of our industry in terms of energy efficiency. Today's sky-high electricity prices confirm this strategic choice."
For further information, please contact:
Nala Renewables Press Office: +41 (0) 22 592 4528 email@example.com
Nyrstar Press Office: +31 (0) 495 512 930 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Spokesperson for the Flemish Minister for Economy and Innovation Hilde Crevits:
Arne De Brabandere: + 32 (0) 496 02 98 89
About Nala Renewables
Nala Renewables is a global power and renewable energy investment and development platform formed in 2020 by Trafigura, one of the world’s leading independent commodity trading companies and global investment management firm IFM Investors. By 2025, Nala Renewables aim is to build a global portfolio of renewable energy projects with a cumulative generative capacity of four gigawatts to be operating, in construction, or in late-stage development. Nala Renewables already owns and is developing assets in Belgium, Chile, France, the Netherlands, Poland and the US.
Nyrstar is a global multi-metals business, with a market leading position in zinc and lead. Nyrstar has mining, smelting and other operations located in Europe, the United States of America and Australia and employs over 4,000 people. The company’s global operations are located close to key customers and major transport hubs to facilitate delivery of raw materials and distribution of finished products. In July 2019, Nyrstar’s operating business became majority owned by Trafigura, one of the world’s leading independent commodity trading companies.