Richards Bay Minerals Strikes Deal with Khangela Emoyeni Wind Farm to Slash Carbon Emissions

(RBM) has sealed a renewable (PPA) with Khangela Emoyeni Wind Farm (Pty) Ltd. Under this agreement, RBM will secure 140 MW of from a newly established wind farm situated in the Western and Northern Cape Province. Projections suggest this move will curtail RBM's annual carbon emissions by an impressive 20%.

This latest development follows RBM's prior venture in 2022, when it entered a similar agreement with Voltalia for the Bolobedu Solar PV plant in Limpopo. The ongoing Bolobedu project is anticipated to fulfill 17% of RBM's power consumption, generating up to 300 GWh of annually.

The 20-year PPA involves key stakeholders including African Clean Energy Developments (Pty) Ltd (ACED), The IDEAS Fund (managed by African Investment Managers), investment holding company Reatile Group, and Rand Merchant Bank. EIMS Africa will undertake asset management for the project. Upon completion, the Khangela Emoyeni Wind Farm is estimated to yield approximately 460 GWh of renewable energy annually. Through a wheeling agreement with Eskom, this energy will bolster RBM's operations in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal. With an export capacity of 140 MW, the project is slated to attain commercial operation within 28 months.

These combined efforts from the Khangela Emoyeni Wind and Bolobedu Solar projects are poised to cater to approximately 42% of RBM's existing energy demands. Moreover, they are expected to foster job creation, skills enhancement, and knowledge transfer within the local communities surrounding the project sites, both during construction and operational phases.

Werner Duvenhage, Managing Director of Richards Bay Minerals and Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium African Operations, affirmed the company's commitment to sustainability, stating, “As a world-leading mineral sands operation, we are determined to find better ways to produce the materials the world needs and decarbonizing our operations is one of them. Rio Tinto has committed to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050. The Khangela Emoyeni Wind Farm has the potential to reduce RBM's annual carbon emissions by 20% and reduce our existing reliance on traditional energy sources by 26%.”

James Cumming, General Manager at ACED, expressed pride in the partnership, saying, “We are immensely proud to have achieved financial close and commenced construction on Khangela Emoyeni Wind Farm, with Rio Tinto's Richards Bay Minerals. Not only will it provide RBM with clean energy for their operations, but it will also help alleviate South Africa's power crisis.”

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