Setting up a factory in South Africa was made possible by Polarium’s cooperation with American Tower Corporation (ATC), an owner and operator of wireless and broadcast communications infrastructure, established in the region. Since 2017, Polarium has helped ATC to minimise greenhouse gas emissions and its overall carbon footprint by transitioning from diesel generators and lead-acid batteries to long-lasting, sustainable energy storage solutions built on lithium-ion technology for reserve power. With Polarium’s factory opening in South Africa, the two companies are now taking their partnership and shared vision in sustainability to the next level.

Many benefits of local manufacturing   
As the power grid in Africa is not sufficient to support all users, a lot of diesel generators are being used. With smart solutions for energy storage and energy optimisation, Polarium plays an important part in the global energy transition.

  • Sub-Saharan Africa is a large and important market for our reserve power solutions. We therefore saw huge business opportunities in manufacturing on the African continent. By having a local inbound supply with shorter delivery times, we save costs as well as reduce the environmental impact of our operations, says Stefan Jansson, CEO, Polarium.

The inauguration of the factory took place in conjunction with the Swedish tech delegation to South Africa in late April 2022, where 24 Swedish companies participated – from startups to well-established international companies and NGOs. Jan Larsson, CEO of Business Sweden and Håkan Juholt, Ambassador of Sweden to South Africa, led the delegation.

Business Sweden – Polarium’s trusted partner
Business Sweden has since 2021 worked closely with Polarium in South Africa helping them understand market requirements, finding a local site for the factory, assisting them in engaging with key stakeholders, and looking at local sourcing, selecting local suppliers.

  • Without Business Sweden as our partner and local advisor, we would not have been able to establish our manufacturing site within 12 months and significantly shorten our time to market. Generally, the average time to establish local manufacturing operations in South Africa is 18 months or more. Furthermore, Business Sweden’s contacts with local authorities facilitated many parts of the establishment process, says Stefan Jansson.
  • Working with Polarium and being part of their entire journey in South Africa was both challenging and very rewarding. Starting off with a location analysis, we supported Polarium all the way to the inauguration when it all came together. I am looking forward to seeing Polarium grow through continued support of Business Sweden, not only in South Africa, but in different markets all over the world, says Rupa Thakrar Bagoon, xx at Business Sweden.

Business Sweden has so far carried out assignments for Polarium in Korea, Vietnam and India and has ongoing assignments in Great Britain, in addition to South Africa. Moreover, Business Sweden has ongoing dialogues on supporting Polarium with their growth in other markets as well as becoming more involved in the battery value chain ecosystem in Sweden.

Ambitious goals for growth and expansion
Polarium has ambitious targets for both growth and expansion. The investment from AMF will enable the company to reach these targets and further accelerate its rapid growth rate.

  • Local manufacturing has brought increased interest from many customers in Africa, and we estimate large sales growth in the coming years. Our aim is to grow our position as an established partner for reserve power telecom tower companies and mobile operators in Africa. We are also looking to expand within energy optimisation and reserve power in new segments, primarily for commercial and industrial buildings, says Stefan Jansson.

Challenge

Provide Polarium  with an overview of trends and market preconditions of the South African market – to serve as input for strategic decision to enter the market.

Solution

Insight into market trends and potential for energy storage solutions, as well as mapping of standards and certifications the company would need to comply with on the South African market.
Local evaluation, selecting local suppliers and finding a local site for the factory.

Result

Factory set up in Cape Town, South Africa.
Increased interest from many customers in Africa and estimated large sales growth in the coming years.
New opportunities in providing energy storage to commercial and industrial buildings.

ABOUT Polarium

Polarium is a Swedish company dedicated to providing the best-performing, safe, and sustainable energy storage solutions built on lithium-ion technology.

Since 2015 Polarium is on a mission to create the best energy storage solutions in the world. With headquarters and R&D in Sweden, manufacturing in Mexico, Vietnam and South Africa, and sales offices on all continents, we serve customers worldwide. Today, our market-leading solutions are in use on all continents and in all climate zones – from the Equator to the Arctic.