Delivering Energy Savings to a South African Mine

Mar 8, 2023 11:00 AM ET
The Sibanye-Stillwater gold mine in South Africa
The Sibanye-Stillwater gold mine in South Africa is using energy-saving technologies to achieve both carbon and cost reductions.

As part of an innovative energy-savings partnership, Rockwell Automation (NYSE:ROK) technologies are helping to reduce emissions and deliver substantial annual energy savings at the Sibanye-Stillwater Driefontein mines in South Africa.

Ventilation in underground mining is critical but uses a lot of energy. Energy Drive, an energy specialist headquartered in Durban, South Africa, used Rockwell drive technologies to help its customer, Sibanye-Stillwater, improve and accelerate the energy efficiency of its mine ventilation systems.

Using Rockwell’s PowerFlex® 6000T variable frequency drives to control and reduce fan speeds, Energy Drive delivered an average of 62% in energy savings in the first shaft and 48% in the second. The two upgraded shafts have been operational for nearly a year, and they’ll soon commission a third shaft.

The new efficiencies—which have delivered annual energy savings of more than 55 GWh—will help Sibanye-Stillwater address some core goals of its ESG activities and deliver a total energy saving of about 360 GWh over the term of the contract – equivalent to removing 5,000 South African homes from the grid every month. It will save 379,000 tons of carbon over the period, while significantly reducing water and coal consumption.

“Ultimately, what we do is deliver energy savings and with that, we deliver carbon reduction,” said James Hynd, CEO of Energy Drive. “If you think about our offering, it’s supporting and partnering around delivering sustainability for clients to achieve their targets. It’s the right thing to do and for that to be achieved at not just low cost, but at a net savings is quite significant.”

Addressing the partnership between Energy Drive and Rockwell Automation, Tom O’Reilly, Rockwell’s vice president of Sustainability noted, “We share a common vision to provide the most efficient and sustainable solutions for customers and the environment. We are excited to address the rapidly growing needs of our customers with this energy savings as a service partnership model, to help them on their journey to greater sustainability and achieving net zero.”

Watch the video and learn more here. Read more about the Rockwell Automation and Energy Drive partnership, and their Energy Savings as a Service business model in this press release.

Rockwell Automation recently published its 2022 Sustainability Report. Learn more about how this provider of industrial automation and digital transformation solutions is helping to enable sustainability for manufacturers worldwide. Read the report.