Total Eren, Chariot to develop 430MW renewables project for Zambian mine in latest collaboration

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Many mines are turning to solar PV to help power their operations as they come under increasing pressure to decarbonise. Image: Unsplash

African energy company Chariot and French renewables developer Total Eren have again teamed up to develop a solar PV project that will be used to offset emissions from mining operations in southern Africa.

The two companies have agreed to develop a 430MW solar and wind project for mining company First Quantum Minerals in Zambia, with construction to start next year. They are also working together on a 40MW PV project to support the operations of South African mining company Tharisa.

First Quantum Minerals said the project would provide it with “competitive and sustainable power for its Zambian mining operations” as it seeks to reduce its carbon footprint by 30% by 2025.

Mining companies the world over have been under pressure to reduce emissions from their operations, with a several turning to solar PV as a solution.

In February, Australian metals company Fortescue unveiled plans for a vast renewables hub to power its mining operations in Western Australia, while at the start of this month global mining giant Peabody Energy entered the solar industry by launching R3 Renewables, which aims to deploy over 3.3GW of solar PV and 1.6GW of battery storage capacity over the next five years.

First Quantum Minerals’ general manager of its Kansanshi Mine, Anthony Mukutuma, said Zambia has “world-class renewable potential” and that the project would help the country “realise some of its untapped solar and wind resources by attracting large-scale foreign investment and adding significant renewable energy capacity.”

Fabienne Demol, global head of business development at Total Eren, said the project “represents a natural fit” with Zambia’s seasonal hydropower resources in that the project’s energy mix “reaches its production peak during the dry season when the country is most exposed to droughts”.

“This project further demonstrates Chariot’s commitment to assisting mining companies in Africa transition to renewable energy sources for their operations,” said Laurent Coche, Chariot transitional power executive director.

Oil and gas company Chariot will be conducting the project through its transitional energy arm Chariot Transitional Power.

It recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Mauritania to progress with a 10GW solar- and wind-powered green hydrogen complex in the country.

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