United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) announced today that it has selected Oorja Protonics for conducting a feasibility study involving Oorja's Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC) for powering telecommunication towers in South Africa.
Fremont, California, 3, June, 2014 – United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) announced today that it has selected Oorja Protonics (Oorja) for conducting a feasibility study involving Oorja's Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC) for powering telecommunication towers in South Africa. USTDA has approved a grant of $872,000 to Oorja for this initiative. The project is first of its kind in the South African telecoms market with funding from USTDA, and if successful, it could lead to an expedited adoption of Oorja's fuel cells in the whole region's telecoms market.
The contract was signed earlier today by Leocadia Zak, Director of USTDA and Dr. Sanjiv Malhotra, Oorja's CEO, at the Ethiopian capital city of Addis Ababa during the US-Africa Energy Ministerial event. This 2-day event gathers key leaders from both regions to catalyze sustainable energy growth in Africa. This project and the cooperation with USTDA was acknowledged by the Secretary of the US Department of Energy, Dr. Ernest J Moniz in his keynote opening remarks at the Energy Ministerial meet. Fuel cells are expected to play a key role in Africa's energy structure as they can provide sustainable and reliable off-grid power, two of the biggest energy needs of the region.
Oorja's CEO, Dr. Sanjiv Malhotra said, "We are very excited to be part of this initiative because it could be a game changer for the global telecoms industry". He further explained that "Oorja's Direct Methanol Fuel Cells hold the promise of offering supreme reliability and much-needed uptime to an industry that is not only mission-critical but could contribute significantly in improving the standard of living of the African population. The partnership with USTDA will allow Oorja to establish the feasibility of this approach and also ascertain a roadmap for an accelerated market adoption and scaling-up of the Oorja solution within the global telecoms world."
Dr. Malhotra added that this is a very important step for Oorja for accessing the Africa market, which has a huge energy demand.
Funds from USTDA come as part of the $9bn designated by the US government's POWER AFRICA initiative to provide sustainable electricity to the African continent.
Oorja Protonics (Oorja) is a global energy company working to enable the methanol economy. It designs, develops and commercializes Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFCs) ranging in power from 0.5 to 100 kilowatts that have a wide range of applications across several industries such as: telecommunications, vehicles and transportation, distributed energy, and micro grid. The company was founded in 2004 in Silicon Valley and is funded by leading Global Investors.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project planning activities, pilot projects, and reverse trade missions while creating sustainable infrastructure and economic growth in partner countries.