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Centamin’s 2030 decarbonisation roadmap focuses largely on Egypt project

30th March 2023

By: Tasneem Bulbulia

Senior Contributing Editor Online


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Gold miner Centamin has published an interim decarbonisation roadmap to 2030, which targets a 30% reduction in its operational Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, excluding several further abatement opportunities which remain under review.

This is a group target recognising that, at present, the company’s sole operating asset, the Sukari gold mine, in Egypt, accounts for 99% of the company’s total Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions and is therefore the focus of its climate transition strategy.

The company’s climate transition strategy for operational GHG emissions reduction comprises renewable electricity, mainly, sourcing clean power for its operation through the procurement or development of renewable energy supply; switching to lower-carbon fuels, together with electrification as an alternative to diesel use applications; and continuous work to optimise and improve the energy efficiency of all its processes.

“Our vision for a low-carbon future is a mining business with sources of on-site and imported renewable energy, reductions in absolute energy consumption through operational efficiencies and creative, new technological solutions, staged electrification of our mobile fleet and increased recycling in our supply chain,” CEO Martin Horgan says.

“In 2022, we studied opportunities to reduce the operational emissions of Sukari over the life-of-mine, including sourcing clean and lower-carbon power through connection to the national grid and further expansion of our on-site renewable energy production.

“We have set an interim target of a 30% reduction in our Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 2030, compared with 2021 as a base year. This would put us on a Paris [Agreement-] aligned trajectory to limit global warming to ‘well below’ 2 °C by 2050 and we continue to pursue efforts to limit the increase further to 1.5 °C,” he outlines.

Over the longer term, the company says, it recognises the need to collaborate with its supply chain to reduce Scope 3 GHG emissions, and more broadly, consider the social and environmental inter-relationships associated with its decarbonisation journey.

In the absence of carbon abatement, Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions in 2030 at Sukari are projected to be 550 819 t of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2-e). This business-as-usual scenario is equivalent to a 14% increase in absolute emissions compared with 2021, primarily associated with higher demand on stationary power consumption as Sukari continues to be optimised.

Execution of the decarbonisation roadmap is projected to reduce Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 30%, resulting in estimated emissions of 335 595 t of CO2-e in 2030.

The carbon abatement projects that underpin Centamin’s interim target of a 30% reduction in operational Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 2030 are two-fold and are focussed on stationary power demand.

In 2022, the Sukari 36 MW direct current, which translates to 30 MW alternating current (ac), solar plant was successfully commissioned. Adding an additional 20 MW ac extension to the existing solar infrastructure (totalling 50 MW ac) would fully meet the baseload power demand of the mine during peak daylight hours.

The execution strategy involves installing 5 MW ac each year over four years from 2024. The estimated total capital cost for the 20 MW ac solar power expansion is between $25-million and $35-million, allowing for inflation and including earthworks, infrastructure connection and battery storage.

Following recent upgrades to Egypt’s power distribution infrastructure, a high-voltage grid connection was extended through Marsa Alam, the local city to Sukari, located about 25 km from site.

Establishing a 50 MW ac connection to the national grid, combined with the existing on-site solar plant, would fully meet the electricity needs of the mine without the requirement for on-site thermal power generation using diesel fuel.

Grid electricity is partly generated from renewable sources (12% in 2021), with the remainder from non-renewable fuels, predominantly natural gas. The Egyptian government is planning to increase renewable energy generation to 40% by 2030 as published in its Nationally Determined Contribution.

Centamin’s 2030 interim target accounts for an increase in renewable energy sourced through the grid, from 12% in 2021 to 38%.

The company is targeting grid connection in 2024 and is currently undergoing a tender process for project construction and supply tariff. The early estimated capital costs are between $20-million and $30-million. 

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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