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Wheeled wind energy to supplement RB operation’s needs

Home Infrastructure Energy – Power Generation Wheeled wind energy to supplement RB operation’s needs

RICHARDS Bay Minerals (RBM) has signed a renewable power purchase agreement (PPA) with Khangela Emoyeni Wind Farm to secure 140MW of wind energy from a new wind farm situated in the Western and Northern Cape Province. The project is expected to reduce RBM’s annual carbon emissions by 20%.

Parties to the 20-year PPA include African Clean Energy Developments (ACED), The Ideas Fund (managed by African Infrastructure Investment Managers), investment holding company Reatile Group, and Rand Merchant Bank. EIMS Africa will be responsible for asset management for the project.

Once constructed, the Khangela Emoyeni Wind Farm is expected to produce approximately 460 GWh of renewable energy annually and, through a wheeling agreement with Eskom, will help power RBM’s operations located in Richards Bay. The project, with an export capacity of 140 MW, is expected to reach commercial operation within 28 months.

Werner Duvenhage, managing director Richards Bay Minerals and Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium African Operations said “As a world-leading mineral sands operation, we are determined to find better ways to produce the materials the world needs and decarbonising our operations is one of them. Rio Tinto has committed to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieve net-zero by 2050. The Khangela Emoyeni Wind Farm has the potential to reduce RBM’s annual carbon emissions by 20% and reduce our existing reliance on traditional energy sources by 26%.”

In 2022 RBM signed a similar agreement for the Bolobedu Solar PV plant in Limpopo with Voltalia. The Bolobedu Solar PV project, currently in progress is anticipated to meet 17% of RBM’s power consumption by generating up to 300 GWh of renewable energy per annum.

Combined, the Khangela Emoyeni Wind and Bolobedu Solar projects will supply approximately 42% of RBM’s existing energy needs and present opportunities for job creation, skills development, and knowledge transfer within local communities surrounding the project sites during both the construction and operational phases.

James Cumming, general manager at ACED said, “We are immensely proud to have achieved financial close and commenced construction on Khangela Emoyeni Wind Farm, with Rio Tinto’s Richards Bay Minerals. Not only will it provide RBM with clean energy for their operations, but it will also help alleviate South Africa’s power crisis.”

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