Tronox Holdings, the world’s leading integrated manufacturer of titanium dioxide pigment, today announced that it has entered into a long-term power purchase agreement with the South African independent power producer, SOLA Group, to provide 200 MW of solar power to Tronox’s mines and smelters in the Republic of South Africa.
The Company anticipates the project should be fully implemented by the fourth quarter of 2023.
The energy will be provided to Tronox through wheeling agreements, which allow Eskom to be paid for the maintenance and upkeep of its infrastructure to transport the energy.
“Tronox’s renewable energy project with SOLA Group will reduce our global carbon emissions by approximately 13% compared to our 2019 baseline and has the full support of our Board of Directors and senior management,” commented Melissa Zona, Tronox Holding’s senior vice president for external affairs and chief sustainability officer.
The projects will be majority owned and operated by SOLA Group and will deliver around 540 GWh of energy to five mining operations through long term power purchase agreements. The developments make use of the government’s recent relaxation of licensing requirements which exempt projects up to 100 MW in size from requiring a generation license.
“We are delighted to see that large scale energy consumers like Tronox, are making use of the opportunity to convert to clean and cost-effective energy,” says Chris Haw, director and co-founder at the SOLA Group. “These types of projects are the fastest way to bring new generation capacity online and not only contribute to closing the electricity supply gap in our country, but also support the much-needed transition to clean energy and modernisation of our electricity grid.”
The execution of the agreements comes at a time when South Africa is faced with further load shedding and desperately in need of extra capacity to be added to its electricity network. The projects are expected to start construction in the third quarter of this year.
The concept of wheeling was first implemented in South Africa by SOLA Group at scale with Amazon Web Services in 2021 and allows projects in advanced stages of development to contract with private energy consumers thereby shortening permitting, procurement and construction timelines.
About the SOLA Group
The SOLA Group is a vertically integrated Independent Power Producer and a leader in the supply of clean energy solutions to private companies in Africa. SOLA’s mission is to transform Africa through clean energy.
With a track record of over 330 MW of operational projects, SOLA has the in-house ability to develop, design, finance, construct and operate renewable energy projects from rooftop to utility scale. SOLA has offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban and a presence in five African countries.
Using its core staff of 80 highly experienced professionals, SOLA is currently implementing over 1 GW of independent power projects for private energy consumers.