Anglo American, EDF partner to develop a renewable energy business in South Africa

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Anglo American, a diversified miner, has gone into partnership with EDF, a global leader in renewable energy to form a new jointly owned company, Envusa Energy, to develop a regional renewable energy ecosystem (“RREE”) in South Africa.

According to Anglo American, as part of the agreement, Envusa Energy would launch a mature pipeline of more than 600 megawatts (MW) of wind and solar projects in South Africa, a major first step towards the development of an ecosystem that is expected to generate 3-5 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy by 2030.

“This first phase of Envusa Energy’s renewables projects is expected to be fully funded – including by attracting debt financing that is typical for high quality energy infrastructure projects – and ready for construction to begin in 2023,” the group said.

EDF Renewables CEO in South Africa Tristan de Drouas said: “We are very pleased to be part of this very innovative venture and look forward to bringing our global expertise in renewable energy infrastructure development, design and delivery to Envusa Energy”.

He said the partnership with Anglo American confirmed EDF Renewables’ long-term perspectives in the country.

“The 600MW first tranche of projects will be added to the almost 1GW that EDF Renewables will be building or operating in the country by 2023,” he said.

EDF Renewables was one of the winning tenderers in Window Five of the government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP).

South Africa has been under pressure to reduce its dependence on coal as the energy source of the country.

It was allocated R131 billion ($8.5bn) by France, Germany, the UK, and the US, as well as the European Union, to accelerate South Africa’s transition from high carbon to a low carbon economy.

Last year, in an effort to address the nation’s failing electricity supply, the government announced that it would allow private investors to build power plants with up to 100MW of generating capacity without requiring a license.

According to Anglo American, Envusa Energy is expected to supply it with a blend of renewable energy generated on Anglo American’s sites and renewable energy transmitted via the national grid.

“This energy portfolio approach will aggregate energy from geographically dispersed renewable generating assets and allocate this energy optimally to meet the load demand for Anglo American’s sites,” the group said.

Anglo American management board South African chair Nolitha Fakude said: “I’m delighted to confirm our ground-breaking partnership with EDF Renewables to form Envusa Energy”.

She said this was a significant milestone in Anglo American’s global de-carbonisation journey and another step forwards for South Africa’s clean energy future.

“We are making great strides towards our 2040 target of carbon-neutral operations, while contributing to South Africa’s just energy transition through our responsible approach.

“We believe the energy transition presents a fresh opportunity for South Africa and the rest of the region to build a clean and inclusive energy ecosystem that can create significant new economic opportunities. I am very encouraged by our progress – affirming Anglo American’s commitment to South Africa’s next phase of development towards a low-carbon future.”

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