African mining companies are exploring renewable energy technologies as a means of securing a stable supply of clean and cost-effective electricity for their operations.
Anglo Gold Ashanti’s Wouter Ferreira describes renewable energy as the future. The water and energy engineer of the Engineering Field Services arm of the company cites rising costs of electricity and unreliable supply as reason enough for the company to move into this arena.
Coenraad Pretorius, energy engineer of Anglo American, says renewable energy projects also have a role to play in the energy efficiency initiatives of the mining house. The company has implemented three small-scale solar projects and, he says, “has more in the making”.
Steel company ArcelorMittal has also been involved in smaller solar projects and is exploring gas as a potential source of fuel for electricity production.
Francois van der Bank, senior engineer at ArcelorMittal, agrees, saying that renewable energy can be invaluable to the company’s energy efficiency drive.