Aurubis started the construction of a 10-megawatt (MW) solar power plant near its production site in Bulgaria. This is the next step towards sustainable multimetal production. Once completed, it will be the largest PV plant for in-house electricity production by a company in the country.
The construction of the “Aurubis-1” PV plant was launched with a special event at company’s production site in the Srednogorie region attended by the Minister of economy of Bulgaria Kiril Petkov , local authorities, and business representatives.
“Aurubis’ investment in clean energy sources showcases responsibility to society and the environment,” Kiril Petkov, Minister of Economy of Bulgaria, said. “Aurubis’ operations contribute to the export potential of our country, the higher standard of living in the plant’s region, transparent rules, and orderly relations with the local businesses,” the Bulgarian Minister added.
“Aurubis-1 is an important milestone for our whole company on our way to a CO2-free future,” Roland Harings, Aurubis AG Chief Executive Officer, said during the ceremony for the start of construction. “It also shows our clear commitment to production in Bulgaria.”
The project includes the installation of over 20,000 photovoltaic panels on a plot of 104,000 m² on a remediated and recultivated landfill. The facility will cover 2.5 percent of the site’s consumption average, with the value reaching up to 12 percent during the daily peak hours.
The construction is carried out by CEZ ESCO, a company of CEZ Group (Czech Republic) in Bulgaria.
The Aurubis-1 PV plant will optimize the smelter’s external electricity consumption by 11,000 MWh annually, and for the period of 15 years the total renewable energy production will amount to nearly 170,000 MWh. The generated electricity could supply 3,500 households annually or a Bulgarian town with а population of 14,000.
Compared to coal-fired power generation, this will save 15,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year – or over 225,000 tons for the planned operating period.