Mozambique’s Balama graphite mine to rely on new hybrid solar/thermal power system

Solarcentury Africa, part of the BB Energy Group, has just reached financial close on a 11.25 MWp solar PV plant and 8.5 MW/MWh battery energy storage system for Mozambique’s Balama graphite mine.

The project is financed by CrossBoundary Energy and is expected to start operating at the end of Q1 2023.

Schematic layout of solar and battery installation, Syrah Resources

The Balama mine is operated by Syrah Resources of Australia and currently relies on a 15.4 MW diesel driven power station. The new solar and battery facilities will be integrated to the existing thermal power generation plant and managed by a hybrid power control system, delivered under a 10-year build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) arrangement. The arrangement comprises an operating lease and an operating and maintenance contract.

“The hybrid power system will supply approximately 35% of the Mine’s power needs, resulting in a c. 35% reduction of diesel consumption,” Syrah Resources and BB Energy said in a statement.

At the end of the 10-year contract, ownership of the project company will be transferred from CrossBoundary Energy to Syrah Resources.

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