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Energy security

Over the past couple of years, southern Africa has experienced a rolling programme of scheduled power outages, designed to protect the grid against overwhelming demand.

These shortages inevitably had a negative impact on the economies of southern Africa. In early 2015, for example, power issues had already led to downward revisions of economic growth and investor confidence in the South African economy.

This reaffirms the importance both of our long-term commitment to reduce our reliance on increasingly scarce resources and of planning for the likely impacts of climate change on our operations.

As well as the moral obligation, there is a robust financial case for reducing energy use and associated carbon emissions. For example, there is a strong likelihood of carbon taxes being implemented in our operating countries in the future.

The South African Government has issued a draft bill on carbon taxation and, although there are policy and technical aspects to overcome, the direction is clear. Similarly, in Canada a federal carbon pricing scheme has been announced, starting in 2018 with an initial tax of CN$10 per tonne of carbon dioxide rising to C$50 by 2020.

Today, 77 per cent of our energy comes from fossil fuels. As part of Project Terra, we are currently working on a number of projects to reduce our energy usage by eight per cent.

In Namibia, for example, Namdeb signed a partnership agreement during 2016 with #Oab Energy to install four 2 megawatt wind turbines at our Elizabeth Bay Mine, which will supply green energy to our coastal operations.

On completion of the project in April 2017, the wind farm will be capable of generating some 17 per cent of Namdeb’s total electricity consumption, freeing capacity on the Namibian grid and supporting the country’s energy security.

We are also investigating other wind, solar energy and carbon sequestration projects across our operations.

So far, we have cut 0.8 million gigajoules of energy since 2014.

Energy use

Million gigajoules

2014

2015

2016

Electricity purchased

4.2

4.2

3.8

Energy from fossil fuels

12.0

13.0

12.5

Energy consumption

16.2

17.2

16.3