Home » Harmony Forecasts R3.6 Billion in Savings from Solar Initiatives

Harmony Forecasts R3.6 Billion in Savings from Solar Initiatives

by Adenike Adeodun

Harmony, a prominent gold mining company, projects an impressive R3.6 billion in net present value savings from its solar power ventures. The first, already generating 30 MW, illuminates the firm’s dedication to clean energy.

CEO Peter Steenkamp leads Harmony in its ambitious pursuit to minimize its carbon footprint. Since May 2022, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)-listed company has been actively commissioning solar projects across its South African sites.

The company is on a clear trajectory toward net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2045. Harmony’s comprehensive strategy embraces energy efficiency, portfolio restructuring, and a diversified electricity mix. It also targets the transportation sector’s decarbonization.

According to a report by Mining Weekly, Dr. Patrice Motsepe, Harmony’s chair, has partnered with the Federation for a Sustainable Environment. Together, they strive to bolster community resilience against climate change’s effects.

Harmony’s Environmental Social Governance Report reveals the financial benefits of these solar projects. It outlines a three-phase introduction of 223 MW of solar energy. Additionally, a fourth phase will incorporate 140 MW from wind sources.

A 30 MW solar installation launched in May at Tshepong, Nyala, and Eland came with a R5 billion investment. Harmony anticipates this plant will trim R340 million from costs over 15 years. It will also remove 62,000 tonnes of carbon annually.

Construction of a second-phase 137 MW solar project is in progress. By 2025, it will power operations at Moab Khotsong, Great Noligwa, and the Noligwa gold plant. This R2.5-billion venture aims to cut R2.5 billion in costs over the next 15 years. The initial 100 MW, worth R1.7 billion, precedes a partnership with an independent power producer for the remaining 37 MW. This collaboration will eradicate 4.6 million tonnes of carbon over two and a half decades.

Financial support for these initiatives comes via partnerships with prominent financial institutions. Harmony has secured a R4 billion funding portfolio for its renewable energy strategy. This includes a R1.5-billion green loan earmarked for its second green transition phase.

Harmony’s predominantly underground operations are energy-intensive and accounted for 89% of the company’s electricity consumption in the 2023 fiscal year. Within South Africa, energy represents roughly 19% of operational costs.

In Papua New Guinea, Harmony’s Hidden Valley operations have relied more on diesel due to a drought impacting local hydroelectric power production. The situation improved with the commissioning of the 11.6 MW Baime hydropower plant in March.

The company is also looking at renewable options for Eva Copper in Australia. This includes potential collaborations with the Queensland government’s CopperString project. Harmony’s commitment to combating climate change has led it to reassess energy sources for this copper asset.

Harmony is poised to release a study that could redefine the power supply at Eva Copper. The goal is to secure reliable energy that aligns with the company’s decarbonization agenda, as confirmed by Mining Weekly.

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