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Anglo’s carbon neutral drive

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Mining company Anglo American is investing in renewable energy in South Africa, with solar power playing a major role. Image credit: Anglo American.

Anglo’s carbon neutral drive  

The project financing for Envusa Energy’s first three wind and solar projects in SA has been completed.  

Envusa Energy, a joint venture between mining company Anglo American and EDF Renewables, has completed the project financing for its first three wind and solar projects in South Africa.

These three renewable energy projects, known as the Koruson 2 cluster of projects, is located on the border of the Northern and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa, and will have a total capacity of 520MW of wind and solar electricity generation.

The projects, the Umsobomvu Wind project (140MW), the Hartebeesthoek Wind project (140MW), and the Mooi Plaats Solar project (240MW), form part of Envusa Energy’s mature pipeline of wind and solar projects in South Africa.

The renewable energy ecosystem that Envusa Energy plans to develop is expected to supply a mix of renewable energy, generated both on Anglo American’s sites in the Southern African region, and from other sites from which renewable energy will be transmitted via the national grid.

The Koruson 2 wind and solar projects benefit from outstanding yield resources, coupled with a robust Eskom grid connection. This configuration promises considerable electricity cost savings compared to existing tariffs.

Twenty-year offtake agreements

Anglo American’s three businesses in South Africa (Anglo American Platinum, Kumba Iron Ore, and De Beers), have committed to 20-year offtake agreements with Envusa Energy.

These agreements will see Anglo American Platinum receiving 461MW of supply, Kolomela mine 11MW, and Venetia mine 48MW.

All projects are expected to reach commercial operation in 2026. This inaugural phase of contracts is expected to abate approximately 2.2 million tonnes per year of carbon dioxide.

Towards carbon neutrality

According to Themba Mkhwanazi, Anglo American’s Regional Director for Africa and Australia, the successful project financing of these projects mark Anglo’s first major step towards addressing Anglo American’s largest remaining source of Scope 2 emissions – its electricity supply in Southern Africa.

“As we make progress towards our 2040 carbon neutral operations commitment, we also see the opportunity to enhance energy reliability and grid resilience in South Africa.

“We expect that energy availability to help catalyse extensive socio-economic activity, playing a critical role in unlocking South Africa’s economic development and growth prospects,” says Mkhwanazi.

Tristan de Drouas, CEO at EDF Renewables says that the financial close of this initial cluster of projects is the first step towards Envusa Energy’s ambition to roll out 3 to 5 GW of wind, solar and storage projects by 2030.

“These collective initiatives align seamlessly with EDF Group’s CAP 2030 strategy. This strategy is ambitiously focused on doubling our net renewable installed energy capacity globally (including hydropower) from 28 GW in 2015 to 60 GW by 2030.”

Community partnership models

In line with both companies’ commitment to supporting a just energy transition, Envusa Energy is exploring a range of black economic empowerment (BEE) and community partnership models that will enable businesses and host communities to share in the benefits created by the development of the renewable energy ecosystem, along its value chain.

The first of these empowerment initiatives includes the incorporation of a 20% equity investment by Pele Green Energy (an established South African independent power producer) into each of the three project companies delivering the development of the Koruson 2 assets, alongside the establishment of a community trust to manage the financial interests of local communities in the Koruson 2 assets.

“Envusa Energy is also in the process of implementing the incorporation of a BEE partner at the business level to further demonstrate our commitment to supporting black economic empowerment.

“The development of the renewable energy ecosystem presents an opportunity to help build a more collaborative and inclusive economy that places people and the principle of shared prosperity at the heart of development,” says De Drouas.

Anglo’s carbon neutral drive  

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Anglo’s carbon neutral drive  

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