Envusa Energy, a new jointly owned firm to be formed by Anglo American and EDF Renewables, will be responsible for creating a regional renewable energy ecosystem (RREE) in South Africa.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the two businesses was signed in March 2022 to explore the ecosystem’s growth and to meet Anglo American’s operational power needs in South Africa as well as to support the resilience of the nation’s electricity supply systems and a broader decarbonization of energy. The RREE is also anticipated to spur economic activity in South Africa’s renewable energy sector, assisting the nation’s more comprehensive just energy transition.

Nolitha Fakude, Chair of Anglo American’s Management Board in South Africa, said: “I’m delighted to confirm our ground-breaking partnership with EDF Renewables to form Envusa Energy. This is a significant milestone in Anglo American’s global decarbonisation journey and another step forwards for South Africa’s clean energy future. We are making great strides towards our 2040 target of carbon neutral operations, while contributing to South Africa’s just energy transition through our responsible approach.

“We believe that the energy transition presents a fresh opportunity for South Africa and the rest of the region to build a clean and inclusive energy ecosystem that can create significant new economic opportunities. I am very encouraged by our progress – affirming Anglo American’s commitment to South Africa’s next phase of development towards a low-carbon future.”

EDF Renewables’ CEO in South Africa, Tristan de Drouas, expressed delighted on the partnership as he noted that the company was looking forward to applying their global expertise in renewable energy infrastructure development, design, and delivery to Envusa Energy. Drouas added that the partnership with Anglo American confirms its long-term perspectives in the country.

What Envusa Energy Offers

As part of the agreement, Envusa Energy is launching a mature pipeline of more than 600 MW of wind and solar projects in South Africa – a major first step towards the development of an ecosystem that is expected to generate 3-5 GW of renewable energy by 2030. This first phase of Envusa Energy’s renewables projects is expected to be fully funded – including by attracting debt financing that is typical for high quality energy infrastructure projects – and ready for construction to begin in 2023.

Envusa Energy is expected to supply Anglo American with a blend of renewable energy generated on Anglo American’s sites and renewable energy transmitted via the national grid. This energy portfolio approach will aggregate energy from geographically dispersed renewable generating assets and allocate this energy optimally to meet the load demand for Anglo American’s sites.

The introduction of the RREE will also provide a clean energy source for the creation of green hydrogen for Anglo American’s nuGenTM Zero Emission Haulage Solution (ZEHS), a fleet of ultra-class mine haul trucks powered by hydrogen. This will help to significantly reduce on-site diesel emissions and move the world closer to a carbon-neutral future while also promoting the growth of South Africa’s Hydrogen Valley.

Anglo American and EDF Renewables are dedicated to assisting South Africa’s goals of economic change and empowerment through the establishment of Envusa Energy. Envusa Energy anticipates starting the search for a suitable Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) partner in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Envusa Energy is also looking at various community partnership models to enable host communities to partake in the advantages brought about by the development of the RREE, along its value chain, in keeping with both firms’ commitment to a just energy transition.