Centamin awards contracts for Sukari solar system
Centamin has awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contracts for the 36MW solar farm and 7.5 MW battery-energy storage system at the Sukari Gold Mine, it announced on Tuesday.
The FTSE 250 company said Juwi was contracted to design, supply and integrate the Sukari solar and battery plant into the current diesel power plant, while Giza Systems had been contracted to install the Sukari solar plant.
It said the Sukari solar plant would be the largest hybrid solar project at an off-grid mining operation globally, and was expected to reduce diesel fuel consumption at Sukari by an estimated 22 million litres per annum and lower carbon emissions by around 60,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.
The project was scheduled to be commissioned late in the first half of 2022.
Sukari is located within Egypt's Eastern Desert, which Centamin said had some of the highest levels of solar irradiance globally, averaging more than 10 hours of sunshine each day throughout the year.
To maximise the total energy generation, the project would use bifacial solar PV modules and a single axis tracking.
It also noted the reduction in operating costs, including an estimated $9m to $13m saving in annual fuel costs and reduced exposure to fuel price volatility, as well as increased reliability of the power system and reduced traffic and fuel transport to and from site.
The project was being engineered with a longer-term outlook, enabling the solar and battery capacity to be increased if required.
Centamin said the total project capital expenditure was estimated at $37m.
“Centamin's decision to integrate sustainable solar power at Sukari is fully aligned with our commitment to responsible mining,” said chief executive officer Martin Horgan.
“It has enabled us to marry up our environmental stewardship philosophy with our strategic objective of maximising returns for all stakeholders.
“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.”
At 0846 BST, shares in Centamin were up 1.48% at 108.99p.