Renewable energy sector in Zambia receives 430MW boost

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Chariot Limited together with Total Eren and First Quantum Minerals have entered into a partnership that will see them develop a 430MW solar and wind power project in Zambia.

This flagship project would complement and expand Zambia’s existing renewable energy capacity and would provide First Quantum Minerals with competitive and sustainable power for its Zambian mining operations. This should help the mine deliver on its decarbonisation goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 30% by 2025.

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The project stems out of a 2021 agreement between Chariot and Total Eren to jointly originate and develop wind and solar projects for mining customers in Africa.

FQM’s Kansanshi Mine General Manager Anthony Mukutuma said the project would offer significant benefits to Zambia through unlocking some of its world-class renewable potential. “It will help the country realise some of its untapped solar and wind resources by attracting large-scale foreign investment and adding significant renewable energy capacity. In line with Zambia’s Vision 2030, the project will further contribute to improving Zambia’s energy-mix, reducing expensive regional power imports and exposure to fuel prices.”

Construction of the wind-solar complex will start in 2023. The total investment in the project will be $500 million.

Currently most of the power supply to Zambia’s mining sector comes from hydropower plants. The drought situation in the past has hampered the mining industry in the region, mirroring the situation in Africa as climate change transforms the continent’s hydropower capacity.

Research into how mines could extend their renewable energy production on site to surrounding communities will be discussed at Enlit Africa.

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