HomeNewsSukari goldmine solar-plus-storage plant project in Egypt

Sukari goldmine solar-plus-storage plant project in Egypt

West Africa-focused gold miner Centamin recently said it was very close to commissioning the Sukari goldmine solar-plus-storage plant in Egypt.

According to Centamin, the 36MW solar farm equipped with a 7.5MW battery-energy storage system has been consistently delivering 36MW DC, converting to 30MW AC of power, since September.

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The reduction in exposure to volatile fuel pricing is saving Centamin up to 70,000 liters of diesel per day as well as averaging a reduction in fuel consumption of 22 million liters per year.

As per the current diesel pricing, the plant has the potential to save $20m annually in operating expenses as well as reduce Scope 1 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 60,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually.

The Solar-plus-storage project at Sukari goldmine in Egypt is anticipated to be fully commissioned in the current quarter.  It will be the biggest hybrid solar project at an off-grid mining operation.

Reported earlier 

May 2021

Contract awarded for a solar-plus-storage project at Sukari gold mine, Egypt

Juwi Renewable Energies, the South African subsidiary of Germans Juwi Holding AG, together with Giza Systems, a leading systems integrator in the MEA region, have been awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract for a solar-plus-storage project at Sukari gold mine in Egypt.

The announcement was made by Centamin Plc, a mineral exploration, development, and mining company that together with the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources exploits the mine which is located in the Nubian Desert/Eastern Desert near the Red Sea.

Currently, the mine operates off-grid and relies completely on a diesel power station, a situation that Centamin expects to change through the establishment of the approximately US$ 37M new energy solution that takes advantage of the location of the mine, characterized by high solar irradiance.

The area has an average of over ten hours of sunshine a day throughout the year.

Also Read: Financing agreement signed for Kom Ombo Solar power plant in Egypt

Project Overview 

Giza Systems will install the solar farm component while Juwi will design, supply, and integrate the 36-MW solar plant and the 7.5 MW battery unit into the existing diesel power system.

The solar portion of the project will utilize bifacial PV modules and a single-axis tracking system. The entire project will be integrated into the existing off-grid network using Juwi Hybrid IQ micro-grid technology to support the diesel units.

In a separate statement, the renewable energy company said that it will operate and maintain the hybrid plant, which is expected to start operation in the second quarter of next year, post-commissioning.

Benefits of the project

“The renewable energy solution is expected to lower operating costs at the Sukari mine, save between US$ 9M and US$ 13M in annual fuel costs, and reduce exposure to fuel price volatility, among other benefits,” said Centamin.

Sep 2021

Supplier of inverters and battery energy storage system (BESS) equipment for the proposed solar-plus-storage project at Sukari goldmine in Egypt appointed

Sungrow Power Supply Co., Ltd. (“Sungrow”), the world’s most bankable inverter brand was selected to supply inverters and battery energy storage system (BESS) equipment for the said project.

According to the Chinese company, its 1,500V 6.25MW PV inverter solution will be used along with its integrated energy storage system (ESS) with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries.

“The environment surrounding the solar-plus-storage project at Sukari goldmine in Egypt, especially the scorching heat as well as corrosion from the sea air pose challenges for power equipment.

Our smart forced air-cooling technology and anti-corrosion capability will enable the storage system and inverters to function stably without derating in such harsh conditions,” said Sungrow adding that the systems are also designed to maximize yields from bifacial PV modules.

Also Read: Egypt to construct solar stations & chargers with solar-powered display screens at Cairo Airport

The Sungrow systems will be based on turnkey designs that the company claims will enable efficient transportation, installation, and O&M.

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