Amplats unveils first clean energy cogeneration power plant for Rustenburg foundry


RUSTENBURG ( – Platinum producer Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) on Monday unveiled a new “breakthrough” 5 MW, R 150 million cogeneration plant at its Waterval fusion complex in Rustenburg.

The Eternity Power thermal harvesting plant, which had a nominal generation capacity of 4.3 MW, was set to revolutionize the metallurgical industry, as its economical use of waste heat from metallurgical and chemical processes could be replicated in other large complexes industries emitting large quantities of waste. thermal energy.

Hot commissioned in June by project developer Vuselela Energy and equity provider H1 Holdings, the cogeneration plant, capturing waste heat from the converter at the Amplats conversion plant, was already operating above expectations , with a constant electricity production of around 3.2 MW.

“This innovation. . . provides a solution to the energy challenges that an energy-intensive operation like cast iron faces. We now have clean, sustainable and reliable energy and are proud to open Eternity Power as South Africa’s first heat recovery power plant in our operations, ”said the executive director of the Amplats process. July Ndlovu said at launch.

The project was described by its developers as a world first, connecting the power plant to a converter in a metallurgical foundry representing an innovation in energy efficiency, the company said.

All the patents for the suite of technologies developed by Vuselela Energy, in collaboration with Environmental Process Solutions (EPS), had been granted and registered in South Africa and were likely patentable worldwide, said Eternity Power Thermal director. Harvesting. Jacques Malan.

EPS designed, engineered and managed the project, basing its technology on that of Israeli company Ormat’s organic Rankine cycle system, which was used to generate geothermal energy from heat sources around the world. .

“The array of technologies used at Eternity Power’s clean power plant had not been used before in a foundry environment and a significant amount of new work has been done to design the integration of the technology into the foundry complex and to establish the technical feasibility of the process, ”he added.

The plant has enabled Amplats to reduce its dependence on the national electricity grid, as well as to reduce the carbon footprint of the foundry, while ensuring the security of supply in terms of guaranteed production capacity, conversion efficiency and availablity.

An effective electricity price competitive with that offered by the state-owned utility Eskom was also guaranteed, as well as fixed price increases over the next 15 years, while no capital expenditure or additional maintenance would be required from the foundry.

The project was part of the government’s Critical Infrastructure Program (CIP), with a grant of Rand 30 million from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) a key catalyst in the decision to go ahead with the construction of the power plant, Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr Rob davies Recount Weekly Online Mining.

The CIP aimed to stimulate investment in South Africa, increase exports of value-added products and create employment opportunities by providing infrastructure essential for industrial development.

The DTI grant was also in line with the country’s ambitions to promote recovery, for which energy-intensive smelters were essential, he said.

“Energy efficiency is now the name of the game,” Davies added, saying DTI did not intend to pump large amounts of funds into a project but rather provide enough to plant one. ” seed “as a catalyst to encourage greater energy efficiency. project investments.


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