South African platinum mine tenders for 10 MW of solar


The Marula Platinum Mine in South Africa wants a 10 MW solar plant after claiming the unreliable electricity supply from financially-troubled state-owned utility Eskom has affected production.

“Given the recent enabling regulatory changes by the Department of Minerals Resource [sic] and Energy, allowing mining companies to look at alternative self-generation options in order to maintain their production needs and expansions, Marula Platinum Mine has therefore taken a decision to look at options to have alternative power to augment their electricity needs,” stated a tender document issued by the Impala Platinum-owned mine, which is seeking a developer for the solar project.

The tender paperwork, published in local media outlet Engineering News, said the mine is seeking contractors to develop the project – including securing land and environmental and technical permits – and to construct it. Developers have until October 20 to submit offers for the site, on the eastern limb of the Bushveld Complex geological formation, in Limpopo province.

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South African businesses are increasingly turning to renewables to reduce their dependence on Eskom.

In mid-July, the South African unit of steel and mining business ArcelorMittal Holdings invited companies to submit project proposals for solar arrays at six sites in South Africa, with a minimum project size of 10 MW each. In August, South African chemicals producer Sasol kicked off a request for proposals for two PV plants to power its operations in Secunda, in Mpumalanga province, and at Sasolburg, in Free State province.

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