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AngloGold Ashanti Global Head of Energy – “We are open to renewables being part of the solution”.

AngloGold Ashanti Global Head of Energy – “We are open to renewables being part of the solution”.
September 03
11:51 2015

anglogoldashantiAngloGold Ashanti’s Global Head of Energy says Financing is the Key to Renewables for Mines.

Bill Allemon, Global Vice President of Energy Management and Electrical Asset Integrity at AngloGold Ashanti, came to the mining sector two and half years ago after two decades at Ford Motor Company. At Ford, he fine tuned his expertise in pulling out energy costs from manufacturing operations.  This experience has been instrumental in his new position that sees him heading strategic and operational energy choices for AngloGold Ashanti’s 20 mining operations spanning 10 countries.

Allemon is presenting at the 3rd annual Energy and Mines Toronto Summit on October 22-23. Here he provides a snapshot of his company’s energy challenges and the solutions they’re exploring – including solar in Africa.

Q: What are some of your energy challenges and concerns right now?

A: We have our hands full with energy risk challenges, especially in Ghana, Tanzania and Brazil. Many of our mines are located in continental Africa where current generating stations either need a full rebuild or need to be replaced so we are considering third-party over-the-fence solutions and are leaving it up to the power market to provide the answers. We are open to renewables being part of that solution.

Q: Aside from aging and poor energy infrastructure for grid-connected sites, what is driving your exploration of renewables solutions?

Right now it is all about dollars and cents. We are focusing on efficiencies and energy savings. But, even when the economics make sense for renewables, there can be challenges. For instance, we have one mine in an ideal location but there is a land constraint, which inhibits the installation of a substantial PV solution.

Q: Financing for renewables for mines can be very challenging. What are some of the solutions you are exploring for financing?

A: We put that in the lap of the suppliers. It is hard to make the deal work when you factor in the 20-year length of the power purchase agreement that we might have to sign. Most mines have 5-year strategies but a great ore body can have 5-year strategies for a hundred years. We now consider 20-year deals that include a termination schedule in the contract so that if the mine plan changes or the national grid is finally at its backdoor, we can get out of the contract when financially prudent.

It all comes down to the finance staff and their appetite for financial risk. We think it’s best to have a simple strategy, especially in Continental Africa where there are many challenges aside from financing including theft.

 

 



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Andrew Slavin

Andrew Slavin

I am one of the directors of Energy and Mines and am also the curator of this site. I have been involved with B2B communications for the last 18 years including publications, conferences, think tanks and reports.

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