SOUTH AFRICA: Sola to solarise (200 MWp) Tronox mines and smelters

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SOUTH AFRICA: Sola to solarise (200 MWp) Tronox© mines and smelters Sola Group

Tronox, a manufacturer of titanium dioxide pigments, has announced an agreement with Sola Group. The independent power producer (IPP) will generate 200 MWp of solar power for Tronox's operations in South Africa.

The energy transition is accelerating in South Africa’s mining sector. A new operator wants to rely on solar energy to reduce the carbon footprint of its operations. Tronox wants to power its South African facilities with 200 MWp of electricity generated by solar photovoltaic plants. The American chemical company specialising in titanium has chosen Sola Group to support its energy transition.

The Cape Town-based independent power producer (IPP) will build solar photovoltaic plants to power Tronox’s mines and smelters in the Rainbow Nation. In South Africa, the company operates the Fairbreeze mine in Mtunzini, a coastal town in KwaZulu-Natal. In the same province, the titanium specialist has a central processing complex in Empangeni.

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Tronox’s partnership with Sola is part of its sustainable development policy. The company, headed by Jeffry N. Quinn, is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050. “Tronox’s renewable energy project with Sola Group will reduce our overall CO2 emissions by approximately 13% from our 2019 baseline and has the full support of our board of directors and senior management,” says Melissa Zona, Tronox’s senior vice president of external affairs and sustainability officer.

All of Sola’s solar plants are expected to be operational by 2023. These farms are expected to provide 40% of the electricity needed to run Tronox’s facilities. Sola will sell its output under a recently signed power purchase agreement (PPA) with Tronox. This is also a good deal for the Sola Group, which already has 336 MW of installed capacity. Currently, the IPP led by Dom Wills is developing a portfolio of 1 087 MW of clean energy.

Jean Marie Takouleu


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