Sibanye-Stillwater finalises largest private wind farm in South Africa

Platinum, gold, palladium and rhodium mining major Sibanye-Stillwater has concluded its first power purchase agreement (PPA) and achieved financial close for an 89 MW wind energy project. This clean energy will be generated by the Castle Wind Farm, located near the town of De Aar in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, and will supply the miner’s SA operations via a wheeling agreement with Eskom.

This will be the largest private wind farm constructed in South Africa to date. Construction of the Castle Wind Farm is expected to commence in June 2023 and is scheduled for commercial operation in early 2025.

The project consortium consists of African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), through its renewable energy project development and delivery platform, African Clean Energy Developments (ACED) and Reatile Renewables. AIIM is a division of Old Mutual Alternative Investments (OMAI) and has invested in the project through its IDEAS Fund, one of South Africa’s largest domestic infrastructure equity funds. Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), a division of FirstRand Bank Ltd, is the sole mandated lead arranger for the project.

Under the terms of the 15-year PPA, the Castle Wind Farm will be funded, built, and operated by the consortium.┬áNeal Froneman, CEO of Sibanye-Stillwater said: “This marks our first major step in delivering over 550 MW of our renewable project portfolio and is a significant milestone in our journey to carbon neutrality by 2040. The project will not only play a pivotal role in reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change but also results in cost savings on electricity and provides energy security benefits for Sibanye-Stillwater’s SA operations. Additionally, it will also contribute to addressing the electricity challenges in South Africa. We look forward to bringing the project into operation.”