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British energy company Chariot is joining forces with France’s Total Eren for a new project in Zambia. The two companies will produce 430 MW of solar and wind energy to power the mining facilities of the Canadian company First Quantum Minerals (FQM).

The Chariot-Total Eren alliance has re-signed for a renewable energy project for mining operations. The two companies have agreed with the Canadian company First Quantum Minerals (FQM) to provide clean energy to power its mining facilities in Zambia. The partnership is for the production of 430 MW of solar and wind power. This is an important project in the Zambian mining sector and should also help diversify the East African country’s electricity mix.

Most of the electricity generated in Zambia comes from hydroelectric plants, 2,393 MW out of an installed capacity of 3,030 MW according to Power Africa. The generating capacity of these facilities drops during the dry season. This initiative will also allow FQM to reduce the use of fuel oil that is used to power the electricity generators.

Reduce carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2025

The project “will help Zambia develop some of its untapped solar and wind resources by attracting large-scale foreign investment and adding significant renewable energy capacity. In line with Zambia’s Vision 2030, the project will help improve the country’s energy mix, reducing costly regional electricity imports and exposure to fuel prices,” says Anthony Mukutuma, general manager of the Kansanshi mine.

The Canadian mining company is making this project part of its commitment to environmental responsibility. The company, led by Philip Kelvin RoddaPascall, wants to reduce its carbon footprint by 30% by 2025. In Zambia, FQM operates two mines in the North West Province. They are the country’s main gold and copper mines, with estimated reserves of 727 million tons. “The combined solar and wind capacity will provide strong complementarity and 24-hour power generation, with solar being produced during the day and wind mainly at night,” says FabienneDemol, Total Eren’s Executive Vice President and Global Head of Business Development.

For several months, the subsidiary of French oil giant TotalEnergies has been working with Chariot to provide clean energy to mining operations in Africa. And since the collaboration began in November 2021, the two partners have also signed an agreement to build a 40 MWp solar PV plant at the Tharisa mine in South Africa.

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