Renewable energy provider Solarcentury Africa has closed the financing of a solar photovoltaic plant at the Balama graphite mine in Mozambique. The plant will be combined with a battery power storage system to power Syrah Resources' facilities.
Solarcentury Africa closes financing for one of its projects in Mozambique. The London, UK-based renewable energy provider has secured funding for a hybrid solar power plant at the Balama graphite mine. The undisclosed amount of funding is being provided by CrossBoundary Energy (CBE); a financial partner now well known in the productive solar energy sector in Africa.
Located in the Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique, the Balama mine is operated by Canadian company Syrah Resources. The project for which Solarcentury Africa is closing the financing involves the construction of an 11.25 MWp solar power plant. The plant will be combined with an 8.5 MW/MWh battery electricity storage system. The system will combine with the thermal power plant that has been extracting graphite from Balama.
Reducing Syrah Resources’ electricity bills
Under the agreement with Syrah Resources, Solarcentury will build, own and operate the solar power plant for a period of 10 years. After this period, ownership will be transferred to the mine operator. Before that, however, Solarcentury will set up a special purpose vehicle to implement its project. This partnership allows Syrah Resources to reduce the environmental footprint of its Balama mine, but more importantly to reduce its electricity bills.
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Syrah Resources estimates that the solar system will reduce the use of diesel in its mining operations by 35%. This is a boon in a global context marked by volatile fossil fuel prices. “At times, the hybrid power system will be able to supply up to 100% of the mine’s electricity needs,” says Solarcentury.
“We are immensely proud of our engineering team for achieving an industry-leading 35% renewable energy penetration rate that will significantly reduce Syrah’s CO2 emissions,” says Jason De Carteret, Solarcentury Africa’s managing director.
Jean Marie Takouleu