German renewables company Juwi AG and Cairo-based general contractor Giza Systems have been awarded contracts to install a 36-MW solar farm and 7.5 MW of battery storage at the Sukari Gold Mine in Egypt.
The mine is operated jointly by an Egyptian government entity and Centamin Plc (LON:CEY), which on Tuesday announced that it has awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts to the duo.
Sukari is located within Egypt’s Eastern Desert and operates off-grid, currently relying on a diesel power station. Centamin expects to spend around USD 37 million (EUR 30.8m) in the new energy solution to take advantage of the location's high solar irradiance.
According to the gold miner, the area averages over ten hours of sunshine a day throughout the year.
Giza Systems has been selected to install the solar farm component. Juwi will design, supply and integrate the solar plant and the battery unit into the existing diesel power system, Centamin said.
The solar portion of the project will use bifacial PV modules and a single-axis tracking system. The solar-plus-storage system will be integrated into the existing off-grid network using Juwi Hybrid IQ micro-grid technology to support the diesel units.
In a separate statement, Juwi said it will operate and maintain the hybrid plant post-commissioning. The system is expected to start operation in the second quarter of 2022.
The renewable energy solution is expected to lower operating costs at the Sukari mine, save between USD 9 million and USD 13 million in annual fuel costs and reduce exposure to fuel price volatility, among other benefits, Centamin said.
The project has been engineered so that the solar and battery capacity can be increased if needed, the miner added.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.832)
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