By CEP Staff • 6 May 2021 in News

International mining group Centamin plc has signed EPC contracts with juwi AG and Giza Systems to deploy a 36 MW solar farm and 7.5 MW battery energy storage system at the Sukari Gold Mine in Egypt’s Eastern Desert.

“Centamin’s decision to integrate sustainable solar power at Sukari is fully aligned with our commitment to responsible mining,” detailed Martin Horgan, CEO of Centamin, which expects a total capex of $37 million to deploy the solar + storage project.

“It has enabled us to marry up our environmental stewardship philosophy with our strategic objective of maximising returns for all stakeholders.

The Sukari solar + storage plant will be the largest hybrid solar project at an off-grid mining site globally when operations begin in H1 2022— reducing the mine’s CO2 emissions by 60,000 tonnes and its diesel fuel consumption by 22 million litres per annum.

Under the contracts, juwi will be responsible for the design, supply, and integration of the Sukari project, while Giza handles project construction and installation.

“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.”

Advisory support

Centamin received support in the process from Bird & Bird’s Energy & Utilities team, led by partner Elizabeth Reid, legal director Geraldine Laing, and associate Hannah Roberts.

“We were delighted to support Centamin on this exciting project to design, construct and operate the 36 MW solar farm and 7.5 MW battery-energy storage system at the Sukari Gold Mine,” said Reid.

“It is a fantastic example of how co-located renewables projects can help mining companies reduce fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and operating costs.

“I look forward to working with the team at Centamin in the future.”

Bird & Bird leaned on its dual expertise in renewable energy and mining to help close out the deal.

“It was a real pleasure to work with the Bird & Bird team on this ground-breaking project,” added Francois Du Plessis, Legal Counsel at Centamin.

“We really appreciated the depth of their renewables expertise, understanding of Centamin’s commitment to responsible mining and the team’s focus on getting the deal done.”