Exxaro has responded to negative opinion expressed in the international media related to its plans for a coal fired IPP in the Waterberg, South Africa by stating its awareness of the negative environmental impacts of fossil fuel based electricity. Exxaro has a relationship with GDF Suez in terms of the coal supply to GDF Suez’s base-load IPP coal-fired power station of 1,200MW (circa 600 MW for the first phase development). The coal mine and IPP power station will be located in the Waterberg region in Limpopo. This IPP power station is being developed in consideration for the current and potentially future electricity shortages in South Africa in accordance with government’s IRP and coal fired IPP procurement programme.
Exxaro says it is conscious of the negative impacts of fossil-fuel based electricity generation and in this regard has taken into consideration the following actions in its business strategy. The company has partnered with Tata Power through a joint venture company to develop renewable energy opportunities. It is investing an initial combined R3 billion with Tata Power for the development of 229 MW of wind energy projects in the Eastern Cape. These projects will start delivering electricity from late 2016, barring any unforeseen project development and regulatory issues.
Exxaro’s efforts at reducing its emissions from its current operations are recognised in the annual CDP where it is included in the leadership index giving the year on year reduction in emissions and the processes and systems we have put in place to continue along this path.
The company states that it is aware of the efforts of the of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the recent announcements in Berlin and share the concern for climate change related risks, hence its commitment and investments to date in renewable energy. The company says it will continue to seek opportunities to invest in renewable energy projects as well as technologies that will reduce the negative impact of burning coal for energy generation on the atmosphere.
The company is engaging with the South African government, directly through the department of energy, the department of mineral resources and Eskom as well as indirectly through various industry bodies such as the NBI and EIUG on issues of electricity security for the country, investment in clean electricity generation and socio-economic development and investment.
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