Tag Archives: renewable energy

Anglo American and ENGIE agree on ‘green’ electricity supply for Quellaveco

Anglo American and ENGIE’s Peru-based subsidiary have signed an agreement to convert the current contracted energy supply for the Quellaveco copper project to 100% renewable sources, in addition to agreeing on another eight years of energy supply for the mine, starting in 2029, from “green energy” inputs.

The agreement will see Quellaveco, a copper project being developed by Anglo and Mitsubishi Corp, become the first mining operation to promote the construction of a non-conventional renewable energy plant, according to ENGIE.

As part of the pact, ENGIE Energía Perú has agreed to convert the total electricity supply for Quellaveco (187 MW) to 100% green energy, with 150 MW of supply over eight years from 2029 also coming from green energy sources.

ENGIE Energía Perú will source the renewable energy from its Punta Lomitas wind power plant, an in-development wind farm with a joint nominal capacity of 260 MW located in Ocucaje-Ica and a 60 km transmission line connecting the plant with the National Interconnected Electric System. The project has been granted a generation and transmission concession by the Ministry of Energy and Mines, and construction is expected to start in the second half of 2021, the company says.

Tom McCulley, CEO of Anglo American in Peru, said: “We are working from different areas to contribute to a healthy environment. Our goal is to transform the very nature of the industry to ensure a safer, cleaner and more sustainable future.

“By resorting to the use of higher precision technologies, such as those that Quellaveco will have, as well as by focusing on consuming less energy and less water, we will reduce our environmental footprint for every kilogram of copper that we produce, starting in 2022.”

Rik De Buyserie, CEO of ENGIE Energía Peru, added: “Thanks to the renewable energy certificates delivered by the Punta Lomitas Power Plant to supply the demand for the Quellaveco project, we are proud and committed to accompany our client Anglo American and mining in Peru, on their path to carbon neutrality.”

Quellaveco, owned 60% by Anglo and 40% by Mitsubishi Corp, comes with a production blueprint of 300,000 t/y of copper over the first 10 years of the mine, with first production expected in 2022.

Aggreko to energise mine power space with investment proposition

Mobile power provider Aggreko says it is making the transition from being a pure power provider to a long-term mining project investor that is helping miners navigate the energy transition.

Aggreko has built an almost 60-year-long reputation for powering many sectors around the globe. It has also supplied power and underground cooling to the mining sector for more than 35 years and has evolved into life-of-mine contracts and renewables.

In its latest report – which details its future energy transition – Aggreko cites mining as a major growth sector. Aggreko Australia Pacific Managing Director, George Whyte, stated that Aggreko’s global team’s unique offering is with build-own-operate investments across all continents.

As well as continuing to invest upward of £250 million ($347 million) annually in technology and innovation, the company says it is ready to further boost its investments in the natural resources industry.

Whyte said: “Investor partnerships can support the rapid changes in technology and emissions compliance that our mining customers are facing. Investing millions of dollars in capital for a mine’s power plant is a risk for any company, and, as a partner, Aggreko takes on this risk instead of the mining company. It is a smart way for miners to do business in the post-COVID and renewables era.”

Aggreko’s Global Head of Mining, Rod Saffy, said miners struggling to get funding for capital expenditure projects were looking to outsource, and there was a trend toward creating partnerships with providers.

“Partnerships provide more value beyond de-risking project finances,” Saffy said. “There are technology and emissions risks, so by partnering with us, for example, we aren’t just supplying equipment and labour, we share in decision making and project milestones, we invest and update technology on-site and navigate social and environmental impacts together.”
Saffy said companies looking to build power stations for the first time particularly benefited from supportive partnerships with Aggreko.

“Power stations are our core business, and they have become much more complex on mine sites than they have been in the past,” he said. “It is challenging to get funding to build power stations, and miners are needing support to integrate renewables into their plans immediately or in the future, or needing solutions designed from scratch.

“Partnering with us is a sustainable and beneficial business solution. Miners are wanting hybrid power stations that might utilise a mix of energy sources such as diesel, gas, solar or battery, for example. They also want that power to be scaled up or down and upgraded as their needs change and new technology comes online.”

Saffy said mines throughout the world were becoming less dependent on mass-scale thermal plants to deliver baseload power through national grids.

“With the cost of renewable power generation falling, there is also growth in localised microgrids, which means less dependence or complete independence from the grid,” he said. “Miners in Australia, Africa and South America, where there is less infrastructure in remote locations, are finding it particularly helpful to partner with us from the start of a major project.”

One such example is the Gold Fields Salares Norte Mine in northern Chile where Aggreko has become a major investor, and partner for the mining project for at least 10 years. The mine is located 190 km from the nearest town and is 4,500 m above sea level, and Aggreko is creating an off-grid hybrid power solution, comprising of diesel and solar for the harsh environmental conditions. Aggreko estimates the mine will experience $7.4 million in cost energy savings across the 10 years.

Saffy said the benefits for Aggreko in partnering and investing with miners from the beginning of their project to the end of the life of mine was beneficial for both parties.

“As a partner, Aggreko de-risks the threat of future innovation and technology for miners,” he said. “Our build, own, operate and maintain model frees up working capital without increasing the debt ratio for mining projects. Modular equipment also gives miners the ability to leverage innovation at low risk and not be concerned about having the latest equipment.

“We benefit too, by showcasing our expertise and innovations throughout a project’s lifecycle and support mining companies to reduce emissions and increase their operational efficiencies.”

Late last year, Aggreko committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Polyus’ Olimpiada and Blagodatnoye mines to operate on 100% renewable energy

PJSC Polyus’ decarbonisation plans have accelerated with an agreement for the supply of environmentally friendly electricity generated from PJSC RusHydro’s Sayano-Shushenskaya hydro power plant to its Krasnoyarsk Business Unit (KBU) in Russia.

The agreement, which assumes the provision of approximately 1 billion kWh of energy to KBU in 2021, means up to 90% of the electricity demand from the company’s production facilities will be met by renewable sources.

Once supplies under this contract commence, 100% of the electricity consumed by Polyus’ largest producing assets, Olimpiada (pictured) and Blagodatnoye, will be renewable.

Based on this estimate, KBU expects to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2021 by almost half, while company-wide GHG emissions may decrease by a third compared with the previous year.

The agreement will cover the period until December 31, 2021, with the possibility of an extension, Polyus said.

In 2020, Polyus and RusHydro signed a five-year bilateral agreement for the sale and purchase of electricity produced by hydroelectric power plants on the territory of a technologically isolated electric power system in the Magadan region. The volume of electricity supplied under this agreement was greater than 300 million kWh/y.

Pavel Grachev, Chief Executive Officer of PJSC Polyus, commented: “This deal marks the transition of Polyus’ core business unit to renewable energy sources and represents a landmark event for our company. Climate change is a global challenge, and it is important that as a responsible business we support the decarbonisation of the global economy. For this reason, we are choosing to power our production assets with energy sources that will minimise our greenhouse gas emissions.”

Aggreko commits to ‘net zero’ targets, supporting customers through energy transition

Aggreko has announced its ambition to be “net zero” by 2050 or sooner, aligning with the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

The company, which has delivered many off-grid power solutions to the mining sector, a number of which have renewable energy inputs, has also committed to offering cleaner technologies and fuels to support its customers through their energy transition – using flexible and competitive energy solutions to meet their environmental sustainability targets.

By 2030, Aggreko says it will:

  • Reduce the amount of fossil diesel fuel used in customer solutions by at least 50% by offering customers cleaner technologies and fuels that guarantee the same or better level of reliability and competitiveness;
  • Reduce local air quality emissions of their solutions also by 50% (all emissions from diesel, gas and other fuels); and
  • Achieve net zero across all its own business operations.

By 2050 or sooner, it says it will also be a “net zero” business across all the services it provides.

The company explained: “For a number of years, Aggreko has been making progress in providing cleaner solutions for customers around the world, such as turning waste gas into power or by incorporating battery storage, solar, and more efficient and near zero local emissions generators. Aggreko is pioneering by partnering with many leading organisations across industry sectors that aim to be net zero or close to net zero within the next decade, supporting them in navigating the complexity and the cost challenges they face in achieving their own commitments.”

To achieve its 2030 and 2050 ambitions, Aggreko plans to accelerate investment in lower-carbon technologies and will continue to shift its global generator fleet towards more gas and greener drop-in liquid fuels. It will also invest in other clean energy alternatives such as e-fuels, hydrogen-ready engines and fuel cells, in preparation for rapid exploitation as the technology becomes available at scale, while also closely monitoring and investigating future technologies, the company said.

Aggreko is to accelerate its offering of more efficient solutions notably through temperature control, energy recovery, co- or tri-generation, it said. Simultaneously, it will continue to grow its portfolio of mobile and modular solar power and battery storage assets, which, when combined with its generator fleet, helps customers to successfully reduce their carbon emissions and costs.

“Aggreko will continue to enhance the use of connected systems, remote monitoring and data analytics to increase efficiency and track performance against its own and its customers’ emissions reduction targets,” the company said.

Chris Weston, CEO of Aggreko, said: “The energy transition is fundamentally changing the way power is generated and delivered. Our customers’ needs are evolving – they require cleaner solutions but without compromising reliability, modularity or cost efficiency. We’ve already begun transforming our fleet and solutions to meet changing customer needs and to achieve our objective to become a net zero company.”

He added: “Our customers are looking to reduce their carbon and air quality emissions and we are the perfect partner to support them in their journey. With our expertise in hybrid solutions and efficient thermal generation, we are already supporting them across the world through the energy transition.”

He concluded: “Our industry-leading net zero commitments are ambitious but achievable and put us on the path to reduce both our own environmental footprint and that of our customers as we look ahead to a greener future.”

Fortescue’s Forrest opens up about iron ore miner’s ‘green steel’ ambitions

Fortescue Metals Group Chairman and founder, Dr Andrew Forrest (pictured), has revealed the iron ore miner has plans to build Australia’s first “green steel” pilot plant this year.

A commercial plant, powered entirely by wind and solar, could be constructed in the next few years he said in the first Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Boyer Lecture for 2021, entitled: ‘Oil vs Water: Confessions of a Carbon Emitter’.

In a wide-ranging talk, he acknowledge that Fortescue was trialling both known methods of making “zero-carbon-steel” without the use of coal in Australia: replacing coal in the furnace with ‘green hydrogen’ and adding carbon separately to strengthen the steel, and “zap[ping] the ore with renewable electricity”.

On the development of such an industry, Forrest said: “We could look at losing our coal industry as a national disaster – yet, I’ve always believed, out of every setback, is the seed of equal or greater opportunity.

“We produce over 40% of the world’s iron ore. And our potential green energy and hydrogen resources are immeasurable.

“If Australia were to capture just 10% of the world’s steel market, we could generate well over 40,000 jobs – more than what’s required to replace every job in the coal industry.”

Fortescue, through its Fortescue Future Industries company, has been signing agreements to leverage hydro-electric power and geothermal energy to become one of the “world’s largest green energy and product businesses”, Forrest said.

“We’re now undertaking feasibility studies that could lead to some 300 GW of power – more than four times what Australia can produce,” he explained.

Forrest also mentioned some of the decarbonisation work Fortescue is currently working on.

Back in December, Fortescue Chief Operating Officer, Greg Lilleyman, announced the company was working on developing an in-house, non-diesel 240 t haul truck prototype that will test both battery-electric and fuel-cell electric drivetrain technology in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

Seemingly referencing this project, Forrest said: “By the end of the decade, our trucks will run on renewable energy. Imagine that: a fleet of vehicles that produces nothing more than steam as exhaust.”

He also said the company was aiming to develop “green iron ore trains” powered by either renewable electricity or “green ammonia”.

Looking at the company’s shipping operations, he said 2021 would see the company “begin to settle designs” that allow its ships to run on “zero-pollution, green ammonia”.

He added: “And we’re willing to share that knowledge, to help our competitors go green too – including Vale, one of the largest mining companies in the world.”

Atalaya Mining looks to solar power for Proyecto Riotinto GHG emission, cost reductions

Atalaya Mining is looking to take advantage of a natural abundance of sunlight at its Proyecto Riotinto copper operation in Spain with the development of a 50 MW solar plant.

The company announced today that it has started the permitting process for the plant build, with the 50 MW generated set to be used for “self-consumption” at the operation.

Technical studies carried out by a third party during the past months have indicated that, in addition to making a significant contribution to reducing carbon emissions, the solar project is economically viable and could potentially contribute to reducing Proyecto Riotinto’s operating costs, Atalaya said.

“The decision to pursue the solar project is in line with Atalaya’s ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability and to continue to have a positive impact on the people, environment and society surrounding the mine,” it added.

During the permitting period, the company will evaluate the various financing options being proposed by industry players in Spain.

Subject to completing the permitting process and securing financing, construction is targeted to commence by mid-2021.

Alberto Lavandeira, CEO of Atalaya Mining, said: “We are pleased to be committing to this solar initiative which will be one of the largest projects of renewable self-consumption in the industry. This is only a first step in achieving our long-term sustainability goals, but one that will have a positive and near term impact on Proyecto Riotinto.”

Earlier this year, Atalaya Mining completed an expansion of the operation to hit 15 Mt/y, up from the previous rate of 9.5 Mt/y.

thyssenkrupp looks to South Africa’s depleted gold mines for renewable power developments

thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions (tkIS) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Germany’s Wismut to deliver renewable underground pumped hydroelectric energy storage (RUPHES) projects in depleted gold mines within South Africa.

The agreement builds on extensive work Professor Frank Winde undertook with a consortium including South African and other German research organisations in 2017. Prof Winde was then with the Mine Water Research Group, and now with Wismut in Germany.

tkIS, with Wismut, is now in a position to offer feasibility studies leading to full project execution for cheap reliable renewable energy. As an added benefit the revitalised mine with a RUPHES provides clean water indefinitely in water scarce regions, it said.

With industrial customers in South Africa paying R1.28/kWh ($0.08/kWh) for electricity by April 2021 and reports that of renewable energy tariffs potentially dropping to R0.40/kWh, these projects have an attractive business case, tkIS says.

The company has engaged with independent power producers and is looking to participate in the fifth independent power procurement program in the country, it says.

“Corporate customers have the option to focus on their core business and allow the IPP to invest in the RUPHES self-generation and thereby use this image-enhancing environmentally friendly and sustainable technology,” the company said.

Saft tech helps Gold Fields make the renewable energy switch at Agnew

A Saft lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS) is playing a key role in helping Gold Field’s Agnew mine make the switch from fossil fuels to wind and solar power, according to the Paris-based company.

In Saft’s first project for EDL, the BESS has been installed within a hybrid renewable microgrid with an installed capacity of 56 MW. This is the first microgrid to incorporate wind power on a large scale at an Australia mine, the company said, with the energy storage critical in enabling the EDL microgrid to maintain power quality as it integrates an increasing level of volatile and unpredictable renewable energy.

EDL Chief Executive Officer, James Harman, said: “The Agnew hybrid renewable microgrid was completed on May 1, 2020, and has proven to be a great success – under the right weather conditions, the microgrid has delivered up to 85% of the site’s power requirements with renewable energy.

“The BESS is critical to this success. That’s why we selected Saft’s Li-ion technology – it offered a complete solution with a proven track record. We’d be happy to work with Saft again.”

The Agnew gold mine is an underground operation 1,000 km northeast of Perth in Western Australia. The site covers over 600 sq.km and has the capacity to process 1.3 Mt/y of ore.

The remote off-grid location means the Agnew site must generate its own electricity, with Gold Fields committed to sustainable and innovative power solutions. It engaged EDL in a 10-year agreement to build and operate Australia’s largest hybrid renewable energy microgrid.

The first project phase involved the construction of a 4 MW solar farm and a 21 MW gas/diesel engine power plant. This was followed by five wind turbines for 18 MW of generation, a microgrid controller and Saft’s 13 MW/4 MWh energy storage system.

The turnkey BESS at the Agnew mine comprises six of Saft’s Intensium® Max+ 20M, 20 ft (6.1 m) containers together with a power conversion system, transformer and MV switchgear installed in three 40 ft containers. Its main role is to provide power quality support for the microgrid to maximise the usage of variable renewable energy, according to Saft. It also provides “ultra-fast reacting spinning reserves” to help maintain grid stability and minimise the need for fossil fuel-based generation units to run idle for this purpose.

The Intensium Max+ 20M design meant no modifications were required to ensure a long operational life in the demanding dusty and sandy desert conditions, where peak temperatures can reach 48°C, Saft said. To maintain maximum uptime and availability for the BESS, Saft is providing remote monitoring together with a service contract including yearly on-site maintenance.

The Intensium Max+ 20M is fully fitted out and tested by Saft at its manufacturing hub in Jacksonville, Florida. As a result, the containers were delivered to site ready to ‘plug and play’.

BHP to cut Queensland coal operation emissions with CleanCo deal

BHP has signed an agreement that could help it reduce emissions from electricity use in its Queensland, Australia, coal operations by 50% by 2025.

The renewable power purchasing agreement to meet half of its electricity needs across its Queensland coal mines from low emissions sources, including solar and wind, is with Queensland’s state-owned clean energy generator and retailer CleanCo, which has a target to support 1,000 MW of new renewable energy generation by 2025. The pact will run for five years from January 1, 2021.

“This will effectively displace an estimated 1.7 Mt of CO2e between 2021 and 2025 – equivalent to the annual emissions of around 400,000 combustion engine cars,” the company said.

BHP owns 50% of the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (Mitsubishi holding the other 50%), which operates several coal mines across Queensland.

The agreement is the first of its kind signed by BHP in Australia and follows the company’s shift to 100% renewables in its Chile operations at Escondida and Spence from the mid-2020s. It will also support the development of new solar and wind farms in Queensland – the Western Downs Green Power Hub, due for completion in late 2022, and Karara Wind Farm, due for completion in early 2023.

BHP’s President Minerals Australia, Edgar Basto, said: “This is an important step forward in BHP’s transition to more sustainable energy use across our portfolio, and a first for our Australian operations. It will diversify our energy supply, help to reduce our energy costs, and reduce BHP’s Australian Scope 2 emissions by 20% from FY2020 levels.”

He added: “This is a prime example of prudent business decisions going hand-in-hand with social value, strengthening our business and benefitting the community.”

BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), Asset President, James Palmer, said: “This contract will help our operations across Queensland to further increase their sustainability through reducing the greenhouse gas emissions we generate from electricity use by half. It will also support two greenfield renewable projects that, in turn, are expected to generate regional jobs in Queensland.”

Over the five-year agreement, power will be provided via the grid, and predominantly contracted from a combination of solar, wind, hydro and gas generation, according to BHP.

For the first two years, power will be contracted from CleanCo’s low emissions portfolio which includes hydro and gas generation assets. From late 2022, the newly operational solar and wind farms are expected to progressively contribute up to half the electricity requirements, with the remainder supported by CleanCo’s low emissions portfolio. Combined with large-scale generation certificates, this will enable BHP to reduce Scope 2 emissions from its Queensland operations by 50% by 2025, based on the company’s 2020 financial year levels.

The contract will contribute to BHP’s medium-term, science-based target for the reduction of Scope 1 and Scope 2 operational greenhouse gas emissions – due to be announced shortly.

Multotec renews power commitment in South Africa

Mineral processing original equipment manufacturer Multotec says it has installed renewable power at one of its facilities in Spartan near Johannesburg, South Africa.

The investment saw 684 photovoltaic solar panels being installed in November 2019, creating a 223 kW generating system. It serves Multotec’s most energy-intensive works – its injection moulding facility – providing almost 20% of the daily electricity demand, the company says.

According to Multotec’s Group Manufacturing Executive, Werner Stessl, the impact of the system is both economic and environmental.

“Multotec is committed to environmental sustainability and we value the fact that this installation is likely to save about 30,000 kg of carbon dioxide emissions each month,” Stessl said. “This is the equivalent of planting about 100 trees a month.”

He says the organisation has been carefully monitoring its rising electricity costs and sought a responsible solution that would leverage the latest renewable energy technology. In collaboration with solar power experts Energy Capital, a thorough investigation of its energy consumption and available opportunities was conducted.

“After months of planning and research, it was established that we could run a battery-less system which would valuably augment our current municipal supply,” Stessl said. “After some structural engineering to prepare our designated roof areas, the panels were efficiently placed and linked up by mid-November last year.”

To date, the system has more than met Multotec’s expectations, which were contractually guaranteed by the service provider, it said. The detailed upfront investigation showed that the installation could be repaid by energy savings within about four-and-a-half years. System performance – right down to the electricity generated by each PV solar panel – can be monitored daily on an online dashboard, he says.

The local municipality has also begun to benefit from Multotec’s initiative, as there is usually ‘overflow’ power generated at weekends the moulding facility does not need. This excess electricity is now channelled back into the main grid by Multotec, at no cost to the municipality.