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On-The-Air (20/10/2023)

Martin Creamer discusses sun and wind energy, green hydrogen and a R1bn solar project for Tharisa.

20th October 2023

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor

     

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Every Friday, SAfm’s radio anchor Sakina Kamwendo speaks to Martin Creamer, publishing editor of Engineering News & Mining Weekly. Reported here is this Friday’s At the Coalface transcript:

Kamwendo: Sun and wind energy is being laid on for seven Anglo American mines across four provinces.

Creamer: This is fantastic news, 520 megawatts of wind energy and sun energy to be generated. Three big plants will be located right on the border of the Northern Cape and the Eastern Cape. So, they are getting the best wind and the best sun. One is 240 megawatts, and two are 140 megawatts each. These megawatts are going to go into platinum mines, into a diamond mine and into an iron-ore mine.

They are also going to go into smelters and this takes a lot of pressure off the Eskom grid, which will be used to ‘wheel’ the electricity they generate and a trading licence application is in. The company spawned with the help of Anglo American, Evusa, with a trading licence points to it likely much more far reaching than just into the Anglo group alone.

Kamwendo: Green hydrogen is being used instead of petrol by two cars that are being driven around South Africa.

Creamer: This is fantastic. The one is a Toyota and the other is a BMW. It shows how fast we are moving into the new green energy transition and into cleaner fuel. The green hydrogen means that there are no emissions at all. It is a zero emission fuel. We see great earnestness from Toyota and they took the Gauteng Premier Lesufi around to show how this all works.

Then, at the Green Hydrogen Summit in Cape Town, we saw BMW working very, closely with Anglo American and Sasol. With the whole Cabinet now coming through with a commercial strategy for green hydrogen, I think South Africa is now really moving forward very well towards a greener future. All over the world, you see action on the green hydrogen front and I think people are suddenly realising that the green hydrogen route is the way to go.

Kamwendo: A R1-billion solar project is being built in North West province for the Tharisa chrome and platinum mine.

Creamer: Now this is fantastic, because you know, at the South Africa Investment Conference, the President was told the investment for this project would be R800 million, but it has already gone to a billion rand. This investment will be in the North West and it is by two companies, Chariot Energy and Total Energy.

These big companies move into South Africa with a preparedness to develop, finance and operate clean electricity projects, which, in this case, is for the benefit of the Tharisa mine, a chrome and platinum mine, which means the mine doesn't have to do anything except agree to buy the megawatts that will be produced. In this case, 40 megawatts of solar power will be generated, with building due to start in the second quarter of next year. Wonderful energy improvement is coming up on many fronts, particularly in South Africa’s mining space.

Kamwendo: Thanks very much. Martin Creamer is publishing editor of Engineering News & Mining Weekly.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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