Africa-focused energy company Chariot Transitional Power has joined hands with French power producer Total Eren to develop a new renewable energy project in Zambia. The two companies will commission 430 MW of solar PV and wind energy projects to power the mining facilities of the Canadian company First Quantum Minerals (FQM) in Zambia.
Fabienne Demol, Executive Vice-President and Global Head of Business Development at Total Eren, mentioned the combination of solar and wind capacity in FQM’s mines will offer strong complementarity and power generation for the whole day, with solar energy produced during the day whereas wind energy mainly at night.
The construction of renewable facilities is expected to start next year. Chariot Transitional Executive Director, Laurent Coche, stated, “We are very excited to be partnering with FQM and Total Eren on this ground-breaking 430MW project in Zambia. This project further demonstrates Chariot’s commitment to assisting mining companies in Africa transition to renewable energy sources for their operations, with Zambia having an abundance of wind and solar potential.”
First Quantum Minerals is developing this renewable project as a part of its commitment to environmental responsibility. The company wants to reduce its carbon footprint in Zambia by 30% by the year 2025. FQM operates two mines in Zambia’s North West Province, which is the country’s main gold and copper mines, with an estimated 727 million tons of reserves.
Anthony Mukutuma, General Manager of the Kansanshi Mine said that the project will help Zambia develop its untapped solar and wind resources by attracting large-scale private investment and adding significant renewable energy to its national grid. The project is in line with Zambia’s Vision 2030 of improving the country’s energy mix, reducing the costs of electricity imports, and exposure to fuel prices.
According to Power Africa, the majority of the electricity produced in Zambia comes from hydro-power plants, which is nearly 2.4 GW out of an installed capacity of 3 GW. The power-producing capacity of these hydroelectric facilities drops during the dry season. The renewable project will also allow FQM to reduce the dependency on fossil fuels that are used to power the electricity generators.
For the last several months, Total Eren has been working with Chariot to provide renewable energy to mining firms in Africa. Since their collaboration began in November last year, the two partners have also signed an agreement to develop a 40 MWp solar photovoltaic plant at the Tharisa mine in South Africa.