Centamin has awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contracts for the 36 MW solar farm and 7.5 MW battery-energy storage system at the Sukari Gold Mine to:
- juwi AG: juwi has been contracted to design, supply and integrate the Sukari solar and battery plant into the current diesel power plant. juwi are renewable energy specialists, with an established track record of developing and integrating renewable energy solutions for mines; and
- Giza Systems: Giza have been contracted to install the Sukari solar plant. Giza are systems integrators in the Middle East and Africa region. Solar is a rapidly growing source of power within Egypt and Centamin is able to benefit from the expanding local expertise, whilst remaining committed to promoting and prioritising local socio-economic partnerships.
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Centamin CEO, Martin Horgan comments:
“Centamin’s decision to integrate sustainable solar power at Sukari is fully aligned with our commitment to responsible mining. It has enabled us to marry up our environmental stewardship philosophy with our strategic objective of maximising returns for all stakeholders.
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“With phase one of the project near complete, including completion of the pioneering works across the 85-hectare site, concluding these definitive engineering, procurement and construction contracts was the next significant milestone in delivering the Sukari solar plant. Working with our partners we will deliver the largest hybrid solar project of its kind, which will reduce our fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from 2022 onwards.”
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The Sukari solar plant will be the largest hybrid solar project at an off-grid mining operation globally and is expected to reduce diesel fuel consumption at Sukari by an estimated 22 million litres per annum and lower carbon emissions by an estimated 60,000 tonnes CO2-e per annum. The project is scheduled to be commissioned late in H1 2022.
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Sukari is optimally located within Egypt’s Eastern Desert which has some of the highest levels of solar irradiance globally, averaging over ten hours of sunshine a day throughout the year. To maximise the total energy generation, the project will use bifacial solar PV modules and a single axis tracking. juwi Hybrid IQ micro-grid technology will enable the integration of the solar and battery system into the existing off-grid network and support the operation of the existing power station.
Further benefits of integrating solar as a sustainable power solution are the reduction in operating costs, including an estimated US$9-13 million savings in annual fuel costs and reduced exposure to fuel price volatility; increased reliability of the power system; and reduced traffic and fuel transport to and from site. The project has been engineered with a longer-term outlook, enabling the solar and battery capacity to be increased if required.
The total project capital expenditure is estimated at US$37 million.