Implats identifies new renewable energy projects amid carbon tax changes

CFO Meroonisha Kerber says Implats is not only trying to manage cost, but to move towards carbon neutrality.

Impala Platinum (Implats) has identified various renewable energy projects for its divisions, following recent changes in carbon tax. “As a group, we are looking at moving to renewables,” says CFO Meroonisha Kerber.

Implats’ Zimbabwe plant (Zimplats) has been granted a licence to generate 185MW, which incorporates the generation of its own solar energy through a $3 million (about R46.5 million) first-phase solar plant. This will provide enough clean, green energy for the total operational requirements of the mine’s new $521 million (about R8 billion) smelter expansion project and a $32 million (R496 million) base metals refinery project.

“We’re also busy looking at renewables for Marula, and we’re looking at different options for Rustenburg, and also our refineries,” Meroonisha added. “The way is for us to not only manage the cost, but also on our journey towards carbon neutrality we definitely are going to move towards more of our energy being derived from renewables.”

In South Africa, the next phase would be transitioning to green hydrogen, as Zimplats has already done.

Commenting on the impact of the carbon tax changes, she said the increase in the carbon tax impact for the company in the next few years would range from R20 million to R30 million. “The issue is really around when they start removing the rebates, and also if Eskom is allowed to push through the carbon taxes to us. That should increase the carbon tax significantly that we’re going to pay.”