“That’s a big shift, over and beyond what was originally planned in the IRP 2019. What is becoming very critical now is how we actually fast-track the enabling of self-generation to happen, because we know that for the coming 18 months to two years, we’re going to be confronted by continuous load-shedding, until such time as the maintenance programme has been done effectively, and Medupi and Kusile are sorted out.
“Like many other mining companies, we are looking at how we can plug part of that gap by providing our own ability to generate power for ourselves, and over and above that we see the area of renewable energy being a very critical area going into the future, hence our decision to buy the remaining 50% of Cennergi. All the conditions precedent have been met and at the end of this month, we’ll close that transaction formally, which means we'll own 100% of the renewable energy company,” he said.
Forming part of Exxaro’s response to climate change is the targeted reduction of its coal resources by 22% over time, as well as a commitment to achieving a carbon neutral footprint by 2050.
“Part of the strategy is to use Cennergi as a stepping stone off creating an energy business going into the future,” he told Mining Weekly.
He made an impassioned plea for climate change to be taken with the utmost seriousness. The black-led diversified resources company is itself aligning strongly to the Paris Agreement in response to climate change risk, and succeeding in promoting powerful environment, social and governance (ESG) excellence.
“If we don’t take climate change issues very seriously and see it as being part of our responsibility to respond in a very effective and impactful ways, God help us, because our children will be inheriting a very, very challenging future,” he said.