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Anglo American plans major private power push in South Africa


Mining company Anglo American has signed a memorandum of understanding with Electricite de France to develop a regional renewable energy ecosystem (RREE) in South Africa.

The ecosystem is expected to meet Anglo American’s operational electricity requirements in South Africa through the supply of 100% renewable electricity by 2030, it said in a statement on Friday (18 March).

“The RREE will draw on South Africa’s natural renewable energy potential to develop a network of on-site and off-site solar and wind farms, amongst other opportunities, offering 24/7 renewable energy to Anglo American’s operations.”

The partnership is expected to bring a host of benefits to South Africa and the region, including:

  • Implementing 3-5 GW of renewable electricity (solar and wind) and storage over the next decade, thereby increasing total grid supply resilience;
  • Supporting the decarbonisation initiatives of governments across Southern Africa; and
  • Stimulating the development of new economic sectors, local production and supply chains.

“We are targeting carbon neutrality across our operations by 2040 and we are making good progress, “said Mark Cutifani, chief executive of Anglo American.

“Today’s announcement is a further major step towards addressing our on-site energy requirements – the largest source of our operational emissions.”

South Africa depends on state-owned Eskom’s coal-fired plants for almost all of its electricity. A government initiative to procure power from private producers initially gathered momentum after it was introduced in 2011 but then lost traction due to policy uncertainty and other delays.

The government has committed to revive the program as power outages continue to hobble the economy, and last year granted license exemptions for private projects generating as much as 100 megawatts. The country needs between 4,000 and 6,000 megawatts of additional capacity to realize a secure supply, according to Eskom.

With further reporting by Bloomberg. 


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