Anglo American Plc’s plans to target carbon neutrality at its mining operations will bolster South Africa’s renewable electricity output and provide a major boost to private generation in the energy-starved nation.
Anglo and Electricite de France SA have agreed to jointly develop on-site and off-site solar and wind farms with 3,000 to 5,000 megawatts of production capacity over the next decade, the companies said in a statement on Friday. They also intend to establish storage facilities and help bolster local manufacturing.
South Africa depends on state-owned Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd.’s coal-fired plants for almost all of its electricity. A government initiative to procure power from private producers initially gathered momentum after it was introduced in 2011 but then lost traction due to policy uncertainty and other delays.
The government has committed to revive the program as power outages continue to hobble the economy, and last year granted license exemptions for private projects generating as much as 100 megawatts. The country needs between 4,000 and 6,000 megawatts of additional capacity to realize a secure supply, according to Eskom.