S African miner Sedibelo Platinum negotiates 75-MW renewables plan

Waterloo solar park, South Africa. Image by Juwi.

March 14 (Renewables Now) - Pilanesberg Platinum Mines, a unit of South African platinum group metals (PGMs) producer Sedibelo Platinum Mines Ltd, on Friday detailed a planned renewable energy programme through which it will power its mining operation.

The company said in a statement it has appointed a consortium including Juwi and Sturdee Energy as the preferred bidder to supply renewable energy. The parties have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and will now begin discussions towards entering into a power purchase agreement (PPA).

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The plan revolves around buying enough solar and wind power to meet a 40-MW mine load via a wheeling arrangement from two separate sites in Limpopo and the Western Cape, and the construction of a 35-MW solar park at or adjacent to the mine. The PPA will cover about 55% to 60% of the mine’s energy needs and will take effect in 2024, while the on-site photovoltaic (PV) installation is planned to be completed in 2026.

Germany-based Juwi will serve as a joint developer, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and operation and maintenance (O&M) contractor in these projects, whilst Sturdee Energy will act as a joint developer and independent power producer (IPP).

The mine that is the subject of the programme is situated some 60 km northwest of Rustenburg on the western limb of the Bushveld complex. The renewable energy supply under consideration is expected to lower the mine’s carbon emissions by around 45% and lead to significant cost savings, the announcement says.

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