Steel company ArcelorMittal considers renewable energy projects in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA – ArcelorMittal South Africa, a steel company, is embarking on a process to develop two 100MW renewable energy projects in Gauteng and the Western Cape.

The projects, which are intended to supply existing facilities within the company, will be subject to the outcome of a feasibility study, which should be finalised during 2023/2024.

ArcelorMittal South Africa has reported that, for the first time this year, it has published a separate ESG Report, which contains greater detail on its ESG performance.

Within, the company has confirmed that it will publish its decarbonisation roadmap by Q3 2022 and has stated its ambitions regarding the reduction of carbon emissions. Lowering ArcelorMittal South Africa’s carbon intensity will include ramping up the use of renewable energy.

“This is an important step in our decarbonisation journey and takes advantage of the changes to legislation announced by the South African government last year, which allow private investors to build their own power plants with up to 100MW of generating capacity without requiring a license. Our path to renewable energy is now well underway,” Kobus Verster, CEO of ArcelorMittal South Africa, commented.

The alternative energy source will also offer more energy security by enabling the ArcelorMittal South Africa plants to be less dependent on costly electricity supply from the national grid which has significantly impacted business performance in recent years.

 As part of its sustainability strategy, the group launched a tender in 2020 to build solar power plants at its operational sites in Vanderbijlpark, Newcastle, Vereeniging, Pretoria, Thabazimbi and Saldanha.

The objective of the deal was to sign power purchase agreements (PPAs) with independent power producers (IPPs) to acquire 100 MW of solar energy.

In any case, this announced investment in renewable energy is part of a current dynamic marked by the willingness of major companies operating in the rainbow nation to turn to renewable energy.

Just recently, the British mining company Anglo American announced a partnership with EDF Renouvelable, the subsidiary of the Electricité de France (EDF) group. The aim is to produce between 3,000 and 5,000 MW of renewable energy for its facilities in South Africa over the next 10 years.

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