One of the key factors affecting the operation of mines in Africa is the availability of a reliable, uninterrupted supply of power. The importance of a stable power supply for mines is such that it is an integral part of investment decisions relating to the development of a new mine or the expansion of an existing mine.
However, Sub-Saharan Africa has a severe power deficit which means that mines are often not guaranteed to receive a reliable supply from the national power utility. Mines have therefore sought to secure alternative sources of power supply, rather than relying on national utilities. These alternative sources of supply have principally taken three forms: 1) diesel generators; 2) captive power plants; and 3) in the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) region, cross-border power trading. We will briefly discuss each option in turn. We will also discuss the impact of energy transition in relation to some of these power solutions.
Authored by Arun Velusami.