Powering Green Minerals

South Africa’s Sigma Solar plans DRC expansion to supply miners, CEO says

By David Whitehouse

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Posted on April 6, 2022 10:48

South Africa’s Sigma Solar is in talks to supply mining companies in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of its international expansion, CEO Gareth Warner tells The Africa Report.

The company is in discussions with three mining groups in the DRC for solar power projects, as well as Côte d’Ivoire’s national power company, Warner says. He is also hoping to close a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Ceylon Electricity Board in Sri Lanka, where the company is setting up an office.

Miners in the DRC are producing the minerals needed for the global energy transition, yet the country has one of the world’s lowest rates of access to electricity. According to USAID, the current rate of access nationally is 9%, with 98% of that being hydro-powered. The World Bank says that there was no significant increase in installed capacity at the country’s national grid SNEL between 1990 and 2017. The bank says that DRC population growth means that available capacity per head since 1990 has been divided by almost five.

More efficient mining of its mineral resources is crucial to

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