From top left clockwise are Anglo's Duncan Wanblad, Anik Michaud, Matt Daley and Stephen Pearce.
Photo by: Creamer Media
JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Listed as a 2023 priority by Anglo American is getting the first wave of the renewable energy ecosystem projects under way in South Africa.
The first wave of 680 MW renewable energy projects being undertaken by the London- and Johannesburg-listed Anglo and its partners are at various stages of development. (Also watch Creamer Media’s attached video.)
“Next year, all being well, I’m hoping to show you a couple of pictures of some of these projects in construction,” Anglo CEO Duncan Wanblad said during the company’s sustainability performance report covered by Mining Weekly.
Anglo has agreed commercial terms for two wind sites of 140 MW each, and one solar site of 200 MW in the Eastern Cape.
In addition, the diversified mining company has two behind-the-meter operations, both solar, at Kumba Iron Ore’s Sishen mine in the Northern Cape, and at Anglo Platinum’s Mogalakwena platinum group metals mine in Limpopo. Behind the meter refers to anything that happens onsite, on the energy user's side of the meter.
At Sishen, a 70 MW photovoltaic installation is being put in place, with site stabilisation and construction activity predevelopment under way.
The plan is to close financially on the Sishen project in the next quarter or so and to launch full construction by the fourth quarter of this year.
Similarly, the 130 MW behind-the-meter project at Mogalakwena is on the way to financial close, with quarter-four construction also expected.
“Of course, we have a much larger portfolio of energy projects in the development pipeline, and that’s going to follow this first wave,” Wanblad said in reference to the 3 000 MW to 5 000 MW programme over the next decade.
Currently, 52% of the electricity used by Anglo and 25% of its total energy use is renewable.
At the new Quellaveco copper mine contracts in Peru, renewable energy contracts that begin this year will take Anglo to a 100% renewable energy position in South America.
From 2025, renewable energy contracts at steelmaking coal operations will also take Anglo to 100% renewables in Australia.
The company’s renewable energy transition principally addresses Scope 2 emissions, which arise largely from the current Southern African electrical supply and global reliance on diesel in the haulage of product in and around mines.
To transition to green energy in Southern Africa, Anglo has entered into the Envusa Energy partnership with EDF Renewables.
Alongside these renewables projects, Anglo has also brought into production the world’s largest hydrogen-powered haul truck and is partnering First Mode to accelerate the commercialisation of this hydrogen technology.
The second category of Anglo emissions receiving attention is methane from its steelmaking coal operations.
The company, which already captures around 60% of the methane from its steelmaking coal mines, uses that methane to generate electricity for the local region.
A total of 100 MW of energy-making capacity is available for use from this captured methane. Initial concept studies are identifying the best approaches for ventilation air methane, or VAM, abatement as well methane emissions reduction.
Anglo, with new technology vendors and engineering partners, is set to progress from prefeasibility, where it is now, to a feasibility study for the design and construction of an industrial gas management unit at Grosvenor, for Moranbah in Australia. Grosvenor is the underground coal mine operated by Anglo Coal Australia, a subsidiary of Anglo American, near Moranbah in the northern region of the Bowen basin in Queensland.
This will be the first of its type and it is intended then, based on the success, to roll out a template for further deployment for the rest of Anglo’s underground operations in Australia.
“We have established a pretty big ambition here but note that this ambition is very much dependent on the decarbonisation progress of the steel industry, given that its emissions represent two-thirds of our Scope 3 footprint. So, steel industry Scope 1 and 2 emissions are our Scope 3 emissions and the change in this space must come from the steelmakers as well as from us,” said Wanblad.
A couple of weeks ago, Anglo signed a memorandum of understanding with H2 Green Steel, a Swedish hydrogen and steel producer, to work together with them on the advancement of low-carbon steelmaking processes, using Anglo’s premium-quality iron-ore products from South Africa’s Kumba Iron Ore and Brazil’s Minas Rio.
At shipping level, the first two of ten liquefied natural gas vessels have now entered service for Anglo on the South Africa to Asia route and are expected to deliver a 35% reduction in carbon dioxide compared with conventional marine fuel vessels.
CARBON NEUTRALITY BY 2040
Anglo’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions are down 21% since the peak of 2019, reflecting progress but with a major effort still needed to deliver the 2030 target of a 30% reduction against 2016 emissions and full carbon neutrality for the whole of the current portfolio under management by 2040.