JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The large renewables deal undertaken by Seriti is indicative of simply how passionate South Africans are to make a constructive distinction for the advantage of future generations, stated new Seriti Inexperienced CEO Peter Venn of the multi-gigawatt deal that’s poised to lighten South Africa’s loadshedding burden and buttress the nation’s simply vitality transition.
“We purchased this enterprise from Australia. It’s now 100% South African and 59% black-owned, with passionate South Africans investing to make a distinction for future generations,” Venn enthused in a Zoom interview with Mining Weekly. (Additionally watch connected Creamer Media video.)
Normal Financial institution, RMB and VennEnergy are Seriti’s transaction companions within the Windlab acquisition, with Seriti holding 54.19%, Venn Power 15%, and Normal Financial institution and RMB every holding 15.41%.
Venn, with pores and skin within the recreation by means of VennEnergy, spoke of his ambition to construct three gigawatts (3 GW) to 4 GW of renewable vitality over the subsequent 5 to eight years, with a specific concentrate on the vitality transitioning province of Mpumalanga, the place preliminary wind-farm building is because of get underneath manner in April.
“As Windlab, we’ve been in Mpumalanga for the final 5 years, doing the required mission improvement, and our short-term purpose is to kick off with a 150 MW wind farm in Mpumalanga, the place Seriti Assets, with its varied coal mines, would be the offtaker and purchaser of electrical energy,” Venn outlined.
Greater than 3 GW will probably be primarily based in Mpumalanga and allowing is already in hand for 900 MW, into which the 150 MW first part suits at a capital price of R4-billion, funded by fairness and debt.
As well as, Seriti Inexperienced has tasks within the Western Cape and the Japanese Cape and building of a wind mission in Kenya will get underneath manner as soon as the Tanzanian competitors authorities approve the acquisition of Windlab East Africa, which is anticipated subsequent yr.
Given the abilities scarcity inside the renewable vitality sector in South Africa, Venn defined that Seriti Inexperienced could be helping folks to pivot out of different industries and into the renewables sector as a part of the simply vitality transition.
“We’re going to be the poster youngster for the simply vitality transition. We’re doing it internally. Proper now I can see folks within the workplace with the orange logos and the inexperienced logos on their shirts.
“Primary is offering inexperienced electrical energy to the coal mines for Seriti, two is trying on the expertise improvement inside the workforce inside the 16 000 those that work inside the Seriti household, and three is bringing the Mpumalanga communities together with us.
“There’s going to be a roadmap over the subsequent 15 to twenty years, the place folks transition from closely intensive coal jobs to extra renewable vitality jobs. My view is that it is not a alternative, it is an addition, so I feel we’ll see important job progress inside Mpumalanga.
“We’re additionally going to see important enhancements inside the infrastructure of the electrical energy sector inside Mpumalanga, and this could all bode effectively for the province and the nation as a complete,” stated Venn.
Mining Weekly: Will you be doing quite a bit in parallel in East Africa?
Venn: We now have very superior tasks inside Kenya and Tanzania. We have been profitable within the Tanzanian tender in January this yr, so our expectation is that we must always begin building in Kenya and Tanzania over the subsequent 12 months. The wind useful resource in East Africa, as we have seen from Lake Turkana, is a incredible useful resource, and the Kenyan electrical energy grid is already over 90% inexperienced, which signifies that any product manufactured in Kenya in the present day can get the inexperienced label and achieve a bonus from being a inexperienced product manufactured in Africa. It’s extremely thrilling for us and our groups in these international locations and we look ahead to the approval of the Tanzanian Competitors Fee in order that we will transfer ahead.
What’s Seriti Inexperienced’s ambition in the case of serving to to decarbonise South Africa’s electrical energy grid?
We’ll begin off with the 150 MW nameplate wind mission in Mpumalanga, which is able to generate within the area of 500 GWh for Seriti Assets’ coal mines. As well as, the remainder of the mission generates greater than 1 000 GWh of inexperienced electrical energy that will probably be on bought to different clients inside South Africa. These are important steps transferring ahead in decarbonising the grid. We even have an enormous alternative inside Seriti with water that happens inside the coal mining operation and the water therapy that takes place. We’re going to be leveraging that water for the development of the wind farms and photo voltaic farms, and sooner or later we additionally wish to leverage that water for inexperienced hydrogen manufacturing.
Do you share the rising view that inexperienced hydrogen varieties an indispensable storage position within the renewable vitality ecosystem?
I feel we should get our priorities proper in South Africa. Primary is completely finding out the loadshedding challenges that now we have. As soon as now we have a secure grid and the loadshedding challenges are sorted out, inexperienced hydrogen is one thing that’s essential for our nation. I all the time inform those that the phrases are inexperienced hydrogen, and inexperienced stands for clear electrical energy. We actually must assist and construct up the renewable vitality house in order that we will produce the inexperienced electrical energy successfully and effectively for inexperienced hydrogen and there are quite a few steps that we have to happen. So far, the nation’s constructed roughly 7 GW of renewable vitality. We have to construct an additional 50 MW over the subsequent ten years to alleviate and loadshedding, so we have to begin constructing a lot greater tasks. We will not be restricted by the 75 MW PV limitations and 150 MW wind tasks. We actually must construct out massive scale renewable vitality to help with the loadshedding. Then as well as, it is the inexperienced hydrogen the place the electrolysers and the water can all come into play. We now have an enormous benefit with having Sasol inside the boundaries of the nation. Sasol is the most important producer of hydrogen in the present day, and Sasol understands the downstream processes of hydrogen, so producing inexperienced hydrogen and delivering inexperienced hydrogen to Sasol, as one of many offtakers, is a vital step for industrialisation within the nation and the expansion of jobs.
When will Seriti begin utilizing renewable wind and photo voltaic vitality to cowl the 750 GWh that it makes use of itself to mine coal?
I’d be comfy to say that by the tip of 2025, we must always have the ability to change a good portion, if not all of it, by means of the mixture of wind and photo voltaic, and a bit of little bit of battery storage. We’re working laborious in the direction of that, however we must always hit the 75% to 80% extra comfortably with this primary part mission that we’re going forward with, plus a bit of little bit of photo voltaic PV behind the meter.
Given the commitments at COP27, what monetary assist ought to renewable vitality producers in creating economies count on?
I feel the majority of the cash that was mentioned at COP27, and we bought dedication, must go in the direction of the electrical energy grid. We now have a grid that was actually designed across the coal-powered stations in Mpumalanga and exporting that electrical energy throughout the nation, and we actually must strengthen that grid with a nodal strategy in order that renewable vitality can entry that grid and supply electrical energy on to that grid. We want important grid upgrades, notably within the Northern Cape, Western Cape and Japanese Cape, to assist out that useful resource. However now we have quite a few big benefits on this nation. Firstly, now we have robust grid in Mpumalanga, 6 GW of grid availability. We even have a rustic that runs east to west and that permits us to have photo voltaic that generates at totally different occasions because of the passage of the solar throughout the east to west within the nation. To my thoughts, 80% to 90% of the cash from COP27 must go in the direction of grid upgrades, bettering the grid entry unit and permitting us to entry the grid in a simple and uncomplicated method. The opposite essential factor that may happen out there is the creation of a liquid market the place electrons may be traded, and a part of that funding must go in the direction of this market creation in order that we transfer away from bilateral contracts between patrons and sellers, and we simply have sellers promoting right into a market and patrons shopping for from a market. That may actually velocity up the event and assist us attain that time of assuaging the loadshedding burden on the nation.
SERITI’S COAL MINES
Seriti Coal operates three opencast and underground thermal coal mines – New Vaal, New Denmark and Kriel – which provide Eskom’s Lethabo, Tutuka and Kriel energy stations, and the New Largo mine is underneath improvement to fulfill the wants of the adjoining Kusile energy station.
As well as, Seriti final yr acquired South32’s coal operations, which introduced Khutala, Klipspruit, Pegasus and Middelburg Mining Providers into the fold. These present coal to Eskom’s Kendal and Duhva energy stations, as effectively the export market by means of the Richards Bay Coal Terminal.
Co-owned by Masimong Group Holdings, Group Funding Holdings, Zungu Investments, and Thebe Funding Company, Seriti ringfences 10% of the fairness of its mining operations for workers and communities by means of unencumbered worker and group trusts.
Its funding into renewable vitality by means of Seriti Inexperienced is an indication of dedication to supporting South Africa’s vitality wants sustainably.