JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Diversified mining company Anglo American, in partnership with EDF Renewables, on Tuesday announced an agreement to form a new jointly owned company, Envusa Energy, to develop a regional renewable energy ecosystem in South Africa.
The energy ecosystem, which is expected to catalyse economic activity in South Africa's renewable energy sector, supporting the country's broader just energy transition, follows the two companies signing a memorandum of understanding in March to explore the ecosystem's development, which is designed to meet Anglo's operational power requirements in South Africa and support the resilience of the local electricity supply systems and the wider decarbonisation of energy in the country.
As part of the agreement, Envusa Energy is launching a mature pipeline of more than 600 MW of wind and solar projects in South Africa – a major first step towards the development of an ecosystem that is expected to generate 3 GW to 5 GW of renewable energy by 2030.
This first phase of Envusa Energy's renewables projects is expected to be fully funded – including by attracting debt financing that is typical for high quality energy infrastructure projects – and ready for construction to begin in 2023.
Envusa Energy is expected to supply Anglo with a blend of renewable energy generated on its mine sites and renewable energy transmitted via the national grid. This energy portfolio approach will aggregate energy from geographically dispersed renewable generating assets and allocate this energy optimally to meet the load demand for Anglo's sites.
"I'm delighted to confirm our groundbreaking partnership with EDF Renewables to form Envusa Energy. This is a significant milestone in Anglo American's global decarbonisation journey and another step forwards for South Africa's clean energy future,” Nolitha Fakude, the chairperson of Anglo American's management board in South Africa, said in a release to Mining Weekly.
“We’re making great strides towards our 2040 target of carbon neutral operations, while contributing to South Africa's just energy transition through our responsible approach. We believe that the energy transition presents a fresh opportunity for South Africa and the rest of the region to build a clean and inclusive energy ecosystem that can create significant new economic opportunities. I am very encouraged by our progress – affirming Anglo American's commitment to South Africa's next phase of development towards a low-carbon future," Fakude added.
Tristan de Drouas, CEO at EDF Renewables in South Africa, expressed his company’s pleasure at being part of what he described as a very innovative venture.
“We look forward to bringing our global expertise in renewable energy infrastructure development, design and delivery to Envusa Energy.
“This partnership with Anglo American confirms our long-term perspectives in the country: this 600 MW first tranche of projects will be added to the almost 1 GW that EDF Renewables will be building or operating in the country by 2023 – including 420 MW of wind projects in REIPPPP Bid Window 5, whose PPAs were signed with Eskom and the DMRE on 22 September 2022.
“Together, these projects further EDF Group's CAP 2030 strategy, which aims to double our net renewable installed energy capacity worldwide (hydropower included) from 28 GW in 2015 to 60 GW by 2030," De Drouas added.
The roll-out of the regional renewable energy ecosystem will also serve as a clean energy source for the production of green hydrogen for Anglo's nuGenTM zero emission haulage solution – a planned fleet of hydrogen-powered ultra-class mine haul trucks – significantly reducing on-site diesel emissions towards a carbon neutral future while also supporting the development of South Africa's Hydrogen Valley.