Diversified natural resources producer Eurasian Resources Group, or ERG, has signed an agreement to secure electricity supply to its Metalkol cobalt and copper tailings reprocessing operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo for up to ten years.
The contract was agreed with Société National d’Electricité (SNEL), the national electricity company of the DRC; the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC), a Zambian incorporated power transmission, generation and distribution company, which is a major developer of energy infrastructure in Africa; and Rawbank, a top commercial bank in the DRC.
The agreement to supply electricity is comprised of two phases: the first will run until the second quarter of 2019 with a total of 62 MW delivered. Following this, the power supply will ramp up to 78 MW per year during the second phase and for the remainder of the contract.
CEC’s MD Owen Silavwe, SNEL’s DG Jean-Bosco Kayombo Kayan and Metalkol’s CEO Patrick Mulumba are signatories to the agreement.
“This is an important milestone in the progress of the Metalkol project, a unique development for the global battery industry. It is an example of sustainable and environmentally conscious treatment of the local environment, and of our wider strategic ambitions in Africa,” says ERG CEO Benedikt Sobotka.
“Together with our partners, who are vital companies in their respective countries, we have found an effective solution to guarantee a reliable electricity supply, which has previously been an issue in the region,” he adds.
CEC MD Owen Silavwe said that the supply of baseload power requirements to mining houses is CEC’s principal business.
“With many years’ experience successfully supplying reliable power for mining operations in both Zambia and the DRC, this agreement demonstrates CEC’s commitment and agility to meet the specific requirements of customers in the DRC market. It also reaffirms CEC’s partnership with SNEL and the mining community in the DRC,” says Silavwe.
CEC has put together a robust portfolio of power sources, invested in transmission networks in Zambia, including the only interconnection of DRC’s SNEL network to the regional interconnected network, and is proactively finding solutions to customers’ changing needs.
“We are excited by the opportunity to extend our services to Metalkol and to provide an effective power solution that will contribute to the success of the project,” Silavwe adds.
SNEL DG Jean-Bosco Kayombo Kayan says SNEL has a mission to contribute to the economic development of the DRC by providing as much energy as possible to industrial producers operating in the country.
“With this aim in mind, SNEL has entered into an agreement with Metalkol in order to respond to its demand for energy in the most efficient way. The trilateral agreement signed by Metalkol, CEC and SNEL demonstrates SNEL’s willingness to serve its customers by offering its expertise in the Southern African energy market.”