Home » Anglo and EDF Launch Major South Africa Energy Projects

Anglo and EDF Launch Major South Africa Energy Projects

520 MW Wind and Solar Projects Power South Africa's Green Future

by Ikeoluwa Ogungbangbe
South Africa Renewable Energy

In a groundbreaking move set to reshape South Africa’s energy landscape, Anglo American, in partnership with EDF Renewables, has secured the financing for three pioneering wind and solar projects through their joint venture, Envusa Energy. This strategic initiative, announced on Thursday, marks a significant step forward in the country’s journey toward sustainable energy solutions, reinforcing its commitment to reducing carbon emissions and enhancing energy reliability.

The Koruson 2 cluster, comprising these projects, is strategically located at the confluence of the Northern and Eastern Cape provinces, an area known for its exceptional wind and solar resources. With a combined generation capacity of 520 MW, these projects not only promise to deliver substantial electricity cost savings but also aim to catalyze socio-economic development across the region.

Themba Mkhwanazi, Anglo American’s Regional Director for Africa and Australia, underscored the project’s pivotal role in addressing the company’s Scope 2 emissions, highlighting its potential to significantly contribute to Anglo’s goal of achieving carbon-neutral operations by 2040. Mkhwanazi expressed optimism that the enhanced energy availability from these projects would spur widespread economic growth and development, emphasizing the transformative impact of reliable energy access on South Africa’s industrial and economic landscape.

The venture includes the Umsobomvu wind project (140 MW), the Hartebeesthoek wind project (140 MW), and the Mooi Plaats solar project (240 MW), representing a mature pipeline of renewable energy endeavors spearheaded by Envusa Energy. This collaborative effort is expected to leverage the robust grid infrastructure provided by Eskom, South Africa’s main electricity supplier, ensuring efficient energy distribution across the national grid.

A testament to the commitment of Anglo American’s South African businesses, including Anglo American Platinum, Kumba Iron Ore, and De Beers, is their engagement in 20-year offtake agreements with Envusa. These contracts will collectively offset approximately 2.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, marking a significant stride toward environmental sustainability.

Nolitha Fakude, Chairperson of Anglo’s Management Board in South Africa and Chair of Envusa, celebrated the achievement as a milestone in Anglo’s decarbonization journey. Fakude’s vision for Envusa is to establish it as a renewable energy powerhouse, capable of driving South Africa toward a more sustainable, inclusive, and low-carbon economy.

Tristan de Drouas, CEO of EDF Renewables in South Africa, echoed Fakude’s sentiments, lauding the fruitful collaboration with Anglo American. De Drouas pointed out that this financial milestone is just the beginning, with plans to expand Envusa’s renewable energy portfolio to between 3 GW and 5 GW by 2030, aligning with EDF Group’s ambitious global strategy to double its renewable energy capacity.

The projects also embody a commitment to social equity and empowerment, incorporating black economic empowerment (BEE) initiatives and community partnership models. Notably, Pele Green Energy, a South African independent power producer, will hold a 20% equity investment in the project companies, alongside a community trust designed to ensure local communities benefit from the renewable energy development.

This venture is part of a broader movement towards a just energy transition in South Africa, aiming to balance economic growth with environmental sustainability. The Eastern Cape’s emerging green hydrogen and ammonia projects, supported by significant investments, are poised to create numerous job opportunities and stimulate regional development, showcasing South Africa’s potential as a leader in green energy innovation on the African continent and beyond.

As South Africa navigates the complexities of transitioning to a greener energy future, the partnership between Anglo American and EDF Renewables through Envusa Energy stands as a beacon of progress, demonstrating the power of collaboration in achieving sustainable development goals and fostering a more resilient energy sector for generations to come.

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