Rio Tinto QMM Renewable Energy Project

Rio Tinto QMM Renewable Energy Project

Project Overall Goal

The renewable energy project will be able to meet up to 60 percent of the mine’s annual electricity demand, and will be able to fully power the mine during periods of peak renewable energy generation

Executive Summary

QIT Madagascar Minerals (QMM) is a joint venture between Rio Tinto (80%) and the government of Madagascar (20%). It is located near Fort Dauphin in the Anosy region of south-eastern Madagascar. The mine primarily produces ilmenite, which is a major source of titanium dioxide, predominantly used as a white pigment in products such as paints and paper. QMM also produces zirsill used in the manufacture of ceramic tiles and certain types of electronic displays and monazite, a rare earth element, used in renewable energy technologies like high-powered permanent magnets used in wind turbines and electric vehicles.

In 2021, Rio Tinto QMM and CrossBoundary Energy signed a 20-year power purchase agreement for a renewable energy plant comprising an 8 MW solar facility and a 12 MW wind energy facility for QMM’s mining and processing operations on a build-own-operate basis. The renewable energy project plays a key role in implementing QMM’s ‘sustainable mine’ concept and enabling Rio Tinto’s operations in Madagascar to reach carbon neutrality by 2023.

The first unit, an 8 MW solar energy facility, will be operational in 2022. The 12 MW wind power facility will be completed in 2023. The project also includes an 8.25 MW lithium-ion battery energy storage system. Around 18,000 solar panels and 19 wind turbines will enable QMM to meet all its electricity needs during peak renewable energy production periods and up to 60% of its annual electricity consumption. In addition to reducing emissions at the mine, the plant will also provide power to a nearby town of 80,000 people.

Project Details

Sector:  Energy
Tags:  Africa, Low Income Countries, Mitigation, non-blended instruments
Source of Capital:  Corporate Expenditure, Private Equity
Project URL:  Download PDF

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