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South African-based Pilanesberg Platinum Mines, a subsidiary of Sedibelo Platinum, has appointed the consortium of pan-African Independent Power Producer Sturdee Energy and Juwi South Africa, as the preferred bidder to supply renewable energy for its mining operation. The parties have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and the negotiations towards a power purchase agreement (PPA) will begin soon.
The renewable energy program will constitute two projects. The first one is a combination of solar PV and wind system projects that will deliver a 40 MW mine load via a wheeling arrangement from two separate sites, one in Limpopo and another in Western Cape province. This project is planned to commence operation in 2024 and will supply 55-60% of the mine’s electricity needs.
The second project involves the construction of a 35 MW solar power plant at the Pilanesberg mine for the direct provision of power to meet its growing energy needs. The solar PV facility is planned to begin operation in 2026.
Juwi South Africa, the subsidiary of German-based Juwi Group, will act as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor, and operations & maintenance contractor in the projects. Sturdee Energy is the other joint developer in renewable projects, which has delivered more than 600 MW solar projects and has active operations in Southern Africa.
The renewable projects will create environmental and financial benefits. Sedibelo Platinum expects the program will help in reducing the mine’s CO2 emissions by 45% and result in significant cost savings, taking the pressure off Eskom’s grid.
Sedibelo Chairperson, Arne Frandsen, said, “Our decision to procure renewable energy for our mining operations is an important part of our ESG journey as a mining company. This is but one of a number of initiatives designed to cut our carbon emissions, increase our efficiencies and grow our contribution to the South African economy.”
Juwi Global Hybrids Director, Dave Manning, mentioned that the electricity supply landscape in South Africa is rapidly changing. There comes a huge opportunity for mining firms to decarbonize their mining operations while reducing costs.
The future renewable energy program by the mining company and the developers demonstrate their commitment to using world-class technology solutions for securing the position of the mining industry within a sustainable future. The integration of wind and solar into Sedibelo’s mining operations will deliver a long-term and sustainable electricity supply at significant cost reductions.