JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Glencore Alloys head Japie Fullard has hailed the new energy plan announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa as opening the way for the company to target bigger power projects.
“I must say that the President’s energy presentation is definitely something that is appealing to us,” said Fullard, who welcomed the removal of the 100 MW cap, as well as clarity around the ‘wheeling’ of renewable energy back on to the grid.
A couple of projects, already beyond prefeasibility stage, were being pursued “quite aggressively”, said Fullard, who also acclaimed the ‘wheeling’ insight provided during a Minerals Council South Africa session with Eskom group chief executive André de Ruyter.
“So, definitely, renewable energy for our ferroalloys business is on the cards,” added Fullard.
As reported by Mining Weekly, also forming part of Glencore Alloys decarbonisation commitments are on-site projects involving potential cogeneration, and off-site virtual power purchase agreement possibilities.
The cogeneration opportunity involves turning currently wasted operational offgas into electricity, which is now set to be coupled with on-site renewable energy and off-site virtual power plants.
The London- and Johannesburg-listed Glencore has a short-term target of a 15% reduction of total Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 2026.
Glencore Alloys produces and markets chrome ore, ferrochrome and vanadium, and markets manganese ore and alloys.
Most of the world's ferrochrome is used in the production of corrosion-resistant steel, more specifically stainless steel.
South Africa’s ferrochrome industry as a whole employs 6 800 people directly, supports 68 000 jobs overall, contributes something like R40-billion to South Africa’s gross domestic product, pays R14-billion a year to State power utility Eskom, has pay-as-you-earn tax payments of R1.4-billion, buys 2.5-million tons of product a year from 20 South African reductant mines, and accords many millions of rands a year in social support and local enterprise development.
JUST ENERGY TRANSITION
Glencore CEO Gary Nagle said the company was embracing the prospect of assisting in the just energy transition towards a decarbonised future.
“In terms of our rundown of our South African coal operations and the just transition, we obviously will have plans in place for responsible closure of those coal operations as they run down, in terms of rehabilitation, retraining of workforce, community commitments and the like.
“When it comes to that part of the just energy transition, we certainly embrace our responsibilities. The investments that we’re making on the renewables side are just the start and there are many other things that we can and may do over time, which will continue to assist in the just transition towards South Africa’s decarbonisation,” Nagle said in response to Mining Weekly.