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Tronox Announces 200 MW Solar Energy Project for its Operations in South Africa

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Tronox, a US-based titanium dioxide producer, has announced an agreement with Sola Group for the development of solar power for its operations in South Africa. The proposed 200 MW of solar project will power the mines and smelters of Tronox.

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In South Africa, the mining sector is accelerating the energy transition. Tronox wants to rely on solar power to reduce the carbon footprint of its operations. The company operates the Fairbreeze mine in Mtunzini town in KwaZulu-Natal province. The titanium specialist also has a central processing complex in Empangeni in the same province.

Tronox selected the Cape Town-based IPP to build solar photovoltaic plants for its facilities. The partnership with Sola Group is part of Tronox’s sustainable development policy. The company has set its objective of carbon neutrality by 2050. 

Melissa Zona, the Senior Vice President of External Affairs and Sustainability Officer at Tronox, said, “Tronox’s renewable energy project with Sola Group will reduce our overall CO2 emissions by approximately 13% from our 2019 baseline and has the full support of our board of directors and senior management.”

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The future solar facility is planned to be fully operational by the final quarter of 2023. Tronox has agreed to purchase electricity through wheeling agreements, which will see the state-owned utility of South Africa, Eskom, paying for the maintenance of its infrastructure for the transportation of energy. 

The solar project will be majority-owned and operated by Sola and the IPP is expected to deliver around 540 GWh of energy to 5 different mining operations through long-term power purchase agreements (PPA).

The solar energy development utilizes the South African government’s recent relaxation of licensing requirements which exempt renewable energy projects of size up to 100 MW from requiring a generation license. The power producers are just required to register with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).

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