Internationally diversified gold producer Nordgold has entered into a strategic partnership to construct a 13 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant that will provide 100% renewable energy to Nordgold’s Bissa and Bouly mines in Burkina Faso.
The company has entered into an exclusive agreement with Total Eren, an independent power producer (IPP) specialising in renewable energies, and Africa Energy Management Platform (AEMP), its strategic development partner, to construct the power plant.
The company reports that the construction of the power plant will begin shortly, with completion expected in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Nikolai Zelenski, CEO of Nordgold, explained that the new solar PV will provide Bissa and Bouly with power for both mines’ daily operational needs, thereby significantly reducing reliance on the existing thermal power plant.
“In addition to significantly enhancing the environmental sustainability of the mines, the solar plant will increase security of supply, and reduce costs at both mines.”
Under the terms of the agreement, the consortium will develop, finance, construct and operate a solar PV plant complemented by a battery energy storage system, reducing the mines fuel consumption by approximately 6.4 million liters and carbon dioxide emission by approximately 18000 tonnes per year. The new power plant will also create a number of full-time roles for local employees in addition to over a thousand currently employed at the mine sites.
Zelenski added: ““At Nordgold, we are deeply committed to our role as a responsible miner and constantly strive to minimise the impact that our operations have on the local environment. By building this new solar power plant, not only will we improve the efficiency of our mines by creating a more secure power supply at lower cost, but we are also helping to make our Burkina Faso mines far more sustainable, while minimising our carbon footprint.”
He added that company already has in place a number of important environmental initiatives aimed at protecting biodiversity around its mines. “The installation of a solar power plant at Bissa and Bouly, Nordgold’s key assets in terms of production, is in line with our strategy of implementing the best environmental standards across our operations.”