Nord Gold has entered into an exclusive agreement with Total Eren, an independent power producer (IPP) specialised in renewable energies, and Africa Energy Management Platform (AEMP), its strategic development partner, to construct a 13 MW solar photovoltaic power plant for its Bissa and Bouly gold mines in Burkina Faso.
Construction of the power plant will begin shortly, with completion expected in the December quarter of 2020, Nordgold said.
“The new Solar PV will provide Bissa and Bouly with power for both mines’ daily operational needs, thereby significantly reducing reliance on the existing thermal power plant,” the company said. “In addition to significantly enhancing the environmental sustainability of the mines, the solar plant will increase security of supply, and reduce costs at both mines.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Total Eren and AEMP will develop, finance, construct and operate a solar PV plant complemented by a battery energy storage system, reducing the mine’s fuel consumption by approximately 6.4 million litres and CO2 emission by approximately 18,000 t/y, the company said.
This type of project is not new to Total Eren. The company, in tandem with other partners, previously started up a 15 MWp solar power plant for IAMGOLD’s Essakane mine in Burkina Faso, in 2017 (pictured).
Nordgold’s Bissa gold mine was launched in January 2013 followed by, in September 2016, the Bouly mine.
The new solar PV plant will also create a number of full-time roles for local employees in addition to over a thousand currently employed at the mine sites, according to the company.
Nikolai Zelenski, Chief Executive Officer of Nordgold, said: “By building this new solar power plant, not only will we improve the efficiency of our mines by creating a more secure power supply at lower cost, but we are also helping to make our Burkina Faso mines far more sustainable, while minimising our carbon footprint.
“We already have in place a number of important environmental initiatives aimed at protecting biodiversity around our mines. The installation of a solar power plant at Bissa and Bouly, Nordgold’s key assets in terms of production, is in line with our strategy of implementing the best environmental standards across our operations”.