Blanket Mine secures contractor for US$13m solar project

18 Oct, 2020 - 00:10 0 Views
Blanket Mine secures contractor for US$13m solar project Blanket Mine

The Sunday News

Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
CANADIAN-based resources group, Caledonia Mining Corporation, has identified an international renewable energy firm, Voltalia, as the contractor to build a 12MW solar power plant at Blanket Mine in Matabeleland South Province.

The group, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), has a 64 percent controlling stake in Blanket Gold Mine.

Recently, Caledonia announced that it had, by way of a market sales process on NYSE, secured US$13 million required to implement the solar project. In the latest statement, Caledonia said together with the contractor, they have agreed on an initial design phase of the solar project.

“Further to the announcement on September 4, 2020 regarding the company raising the required funds to invest in the construction of a solar power plant to supply electricity to the Blanket Mine in Zimbabwe, Caledonia is pleased to now announce that it has appointed Voltalia as the contractor for the project,” said the mining group.

Voltalia is listed on the regulated market of Euronext Paris and the international firm has considerable experience in the delivery of renewable energy projects including the development, construction, operation and maintenance of solar power plants. Already, Voltalia is active notably in Burundi, Malawi and South Africa.

The mining group looks forward to working closely with Voltalia to deliver a successful project at Blanket Mine in Gwanda which, on completion, is expected to provide an estimated 27 percent of the mine’s total electricity demand.

“This will significantly reduce the risk to the mine of any further deterioration in the quality of grid power, which would necessitate increased use of diesel generators (which are substantially more expensive than grid power),” said Caledonia. The plant will also reduce Blanket Mine’s environmental footprint.

“Caledonia and Voltalia have agreed an initial design phase for the project after which, subject to the conclusion of an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract, procurement and construction are expected to begin with current indicated commissioning for the 12MW solar plant in the last quarter of 2021,” it said.

The project is primarily intended to protect Blanket Mine from any further deterioration in the electricity supply situation.

“Whilst the project is being done for largely defensive reasons, it is expected to yield a modest return to shareholders after taking account of the dilutive effect of the equity,” said Caledonia. [email protected]

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