During the Mining Indaba Event held in Cape Town over the period from 3 to 6 February 2020, the Minister of Mineral and Energy Resources, Mr. Gwede Mantashe, declared that the Mining Industry will be able to produce private power for their own operations.
The announcement was made during his speech on Monday, 3 February, owing to the insecurity of power supply in South Africa due to Eskom’s forecast of planned and unplanned maintenance over the next 18 months, and in the opinions of experts, forecasting load shedding to continue over the next two to three years.
The effect of load shedding played a factor on the mining industry, which showed a decrease of production in the sector, by 3.1% in 2019, according to Statistics South Africa. To counter this, Mr. Gwede Mantashe was quoted on saying; “Because we have problems with Energy, we must allow our mining companies to generate energy for self-use.” He further went on to say that Mining companies will not need a licence to operate these power plants, but will need to be registered.
This is welcomed news not only to the Mining Industry, where safety and profit margins have been major concerns, but also to investors and engineering and construction companies that will be engaged to undertake the construction of these private power plants.
What remains to be seen is how this will be implemented; will Environmental Impact Assessments be required, and what exactly will entail in the registration of the power plants? These details have yet to be determined, however, having been a strong Authorisations consulting force in the Mining Industry since 2004, Environmental Assurance (Pty) Ltd will be in the perfect position to assist your company should you wish to apply for their own private power production plant.