Mining major makes move towards 100% renewables


In what Stanwell described as its biggest retail deal yet, the utility will supply UK-headquartered Anglo American with enough renewable energy to power the mining giant’s five steelmaking coal operations across central Queensland’s Bowen Basin from 2025.

The renewable energy will be sourced from Spanish developer X-Elio’s 200 MW Blue Grass Solar Farm near Chinchilla in Queensland’s Western Downs region and the 450 MW first stage of the Clarke Creek wind project being built by Windlab northwest of Rockhampton.

Anglo American, Australia’s second largest metallurgical coal miner, said the deal will power all electrical equipment at its mines in Moranbah, Middlemount and Moura, including draglines, longwall equipment, conveyors, coal preparation facilities, lighting and ventilation and cooling infrastructure, water treatment plant and administration facilities.

Chief executive of Anglo American in Australia, Dan van der Westhuizen, said the power purchase agreement would effectively remove all Scope 2 emissions from the miner’s steelmaking coal business in Australia from 2025 and would accelerate its aim of carbon neutral operations by 2040.

“Securing 100% renewables from Stanwell is a major step towards our target of carbon neutral operations in Australia, and globally, by 2040,” he said. Before adding that many of the metals and minerals Anglo American produces, including steelmaking coal, are critical to the energy transition. Evidently the miner considers itself a necessary evil in this regard.

“We are committed to playing our part against climate change, including through renewable energy use and accelerating a number of technologies to abate our on-site emissions,” Westhuizen said. “Today’s deal brings significant environmental benefits and is NPV positive compared with our current energy mix, while underwriting a large investment in renewable energy generation for Queensland.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the partnership between Anglo American and Stanwell, historically known only for coal-fired energy generation, demonstrated the strong shift to clean energy from Queensland businesses.

The announcement comes just days after Stanwell, through its retail arm Stanwell Energy, inked a deal to supply up to 185 GWh of renewable energy a year to help power the Brisbane Airport Corporation’s operations.

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