Sibanye Gold power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Sibanye Gold power station was a proposed 200- to 600-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station sponsored by Sibanye Gold for Waterberg District, South Africa.


The map below shows Waterberg coal field, the approximate location where the plant would be located.

Loading map...


In February 2015, Sibanye Gold Ltd., the biggest gold miner in South Africa, said it planned to build their own coal-fired plant units of 200 MW to 600 MW to reduce reliance on “inconsistent and increasingly expensive” electricity from Eskom. Sibanye was going to aim to finance the units in part through loans from development banks that focus on infrastructure projects.[1]

Investment with Waterberg falls through

In September 2015, Sibanye Gold agreed to invest in the Waterberg Coal Group to secure coal supplies for its proposed coal plant. Sibanye would buy a convertible note from Waterberg’s lenders for A$22.5 million (US$16 million) and inject A$8.5 million of working capital into the mining project.[2]

However, in February 2016, Sibanye advised its shareholders that the parties had been unable to agree on terms for the investment and, accordingly, all discussions had been terminated.[3]

As of June 2021, there have been no further developments, and the projects appears to be shelved. It does not appear in the country's 2018 draft Integrated Resource Plan, released in August 2018.[4]

As of June 2019, with the company having terminated its attempt to build a coal plant and instead directing its planning toward solar power, the project is clearly cancelled.

Solar & Green Hydrogen strategies

In July 2016, Sibanye released an energy strategy that emphasized its 150 MW solar PV initiative tentatively located between the company's Driefontein and Kloof operations. The project would be operational in 2018 and would be designed for expansion to 193 MW. Costs were judged to be lower than buying electricity from Eskom. The energy strategy also stated, "Other base load alternatives include gas- and coal-fired power stations to supply between 200MW and 600MW are being explored." It noted that "Coal, gas and energy partner (IPP) strategy evaluation underway" among its "short term: 0-3 years" plans. Under "Medium to long term: >3 years" plans it stated: "Supplement portion of Eskom demand with self-generated/controlled/Eskom independent baseload power at a discount to expected Eskom tariffs" and "Take opportunities to invest in targeted coal/gas assets that complement this strategy."[5]

In an annual results presentation in early 2020, Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman said the company was reconsidering the 150 MW self-generation project at its gold assets on the West Rand because "the rules of engagement were foggy."[6]

As of February 2021, the company appears to be developing a 50 MW photovoltaic solar power plant, and noted the plant "was originally 150 MW but because of the uncertainty around wheeling and some of those issues, we are going to rather keep it at 50 MW, and then we’re looking at a 200 MW plant in the Rustenburg area, for our Rustenburg operation." (Neither site is near the Waterberg District.) In addition, Sibanye-Stillwater is assessing the generation of green hydrogen on its mine sites to power PGM-catalysed hydrogen fuel cell mobility.[7]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Sibanye Gold
  • Parent company: Sibanye Gold
  • Location: Waterberg District, Limpopo Province, South Africa
  • Coordinates: -23.666667, 27.516667 (approximate)
  • Status: Cancelled
  • Capacity: 200-600 MW
  • Type: Subcritical
  • Projected in service:
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source: Waterberg coal field
  • Source of financing:

Articles and Resources


Related articles

External Resources