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Sibanye-Stillwater Launches Major Renewable Energy Projects in South Africa

Two Groundbreaking Renewable Energy Initiatives Set to Transform Sibanye-Stillwater's Operations

by Adenike Adeodun

Sibanye-Stillwater, a leading mining company, has announced the financial closure and commencement of construction for two additional renewable energy projects at its South African operations. The first project, the Witberg Wind Energy Project near Matjiesfontein in the Western Cape, boasts a contracted capacity of 103 MW and will supply renewable energy to the company’s operations through a wheeling agreement with Eskom, South Africa’s state-owned power utility.

The project, with an estimated cost of R3.4 billion, is fully funded by Red Rocket, a South African independent power producer (IPP), and its lenders. Sibanye-Stillwater has committed to a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for this project, which follows the previously announced 89 MW Castle wind energy project. Construction of the Witberg Wind Farm starts this month, with commercial operation targeted for the fourth quarter of 2025.

The second project, developed and financed by SOLA Group, a South African IPP, is a 150 MWac solar photovoltaic project. Sibanye-Stillwater will procure 75 MW of the plant’s capacity over a ten-year PPA. This innovative project, the first in the country to sell power to multiple buyers on flexible terms, has an estimated cost of R2.8 billion, with SOLA Group holding the majority equity. Located in the Free State, it will also supply Sibanye-Stillwater’s operations via a wheeling agreement with Eskom. Notably, the project reserves significant capacity for short-term PPAs, offering other South African businesses access to affordable renewable energy. Construction begins this month, aiming for commercial operation in the third quarter of 2025.

According to a report by Mining Review, these initiatives, along with the Castle wind energy project, bring Sibanye-Stillwater’s total renewable energy capacity under construction to 267 MW. This fulfills 45% of the company’s long-term renewable energy needs in South Africa, positioning it as a leader in private energy procurement in the country. The projects are set to reduce Scope 2 emissions by 15%, equivalent to around 92,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually from 2026, significantly aiding South Africa’s electricity crisis and fostering local socio-economic development.

Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman emphasized the company’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2040. “These projects are integral to our operational decarbonisation and broader strategy to mitigate climate change, create shared value, and address South Africa’s electricity challenges,” Froneman stated.

Red Rocket CEO Matteo Brambilla expressed confidence in achieving 3 GW of operational assets in the next three to four years, reiterating the company’s dedication to sustainable energy solutions in South Africa. The Witberg wind farm, utilizing Vestas turbines, is expected to produce over 3,625 full-load hours in its first year.

Funding for the Witberg project is provided by Rand Merchant Bank, a division of FirstRand Bank Limited, and the Development Bank of Southern Africa.

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