SOUTH AFRICA: mining company Sibanye signs for 140 MW of wind energy

11 06 2024 | 07:26Jean Marie Takouleu

South African mining company Sibanye-Stillwater has signed an agreement to purchase 140 MW of privately-owned wind power to power and decarbonise its extractive operations in the Rainbow Nation.

The 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) was signed recently between South African mining company Sibanye-Stillwater and a consortium formed by African Clean Energy Developments (ACED) and Energy Infrastructure Management Services (EIMS Africa). These two entities, owned by asset manager African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), are developing the Umsinde Emoyeni wind farm project on the border between the Northern Cape and Western Cape provinces.

Under the terms of the PPA, the electricity generated by the Umsinde Emoyeni wind farm will be sold to Sibanye-Stillwater and will pass through the state-owned utility Eskom’s grid under a “secure transfer” agreement. The project is well advanced in its development with financial close already achieved with mandated arranger Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), a subsidiary of FirstRand Bank. AIIM has also contributed to this transaction through its IDEAS fund.

The Umsinde Emoyeni wind farm is now under construction, with the aim of starting commercial operations in the 4th quarter of 2026. “The financial close of the Umsinde Emoyeni wind farm marks another crucial step in our journey towards carbon neutrality by 2040,” said Neal Froneman, Chief Executive Officer of the Sibanye-Stillwater mining company.

With a capacity of 140 MW, Umsinde Emoyeni is the fourth renewable energy infrastructure project for which Sibanye-Stillwater has signed PPAs for a combined capacity of 407 MW. According to the company, which specialises in the extraction of gold and precious metals from the platinum group (platinum and palladium), these facilities will reduce its emissions by 24%, or around 1.45 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2) per year from 2027. They should also enable Sibanye-Stillwater to meet 70% of its electricity demand from renewable energy sources. The Johannesburg-based company wants to add 600 MW of clean energy over the next few years.