Total energy consumption for the Group (on a like for like basis) fell by 2% from 107 million GJ in 2007 to 105 million GJ in 2008.
The Company has set a target of improving energy efficiency by 15% over the ten years to 2014 – measured as energy intensity per unit of saleable product. In accordance with this target, each business unit has set its own goals and implemented appropriate programmes to reduce energy consumption or improve energy efficiency.
The Group’s energy managers are constantly being challenged by change in virtually all areas of the Company’s business. This is illustrated, for example, by the energy managers’ need to measure efficiency gains, which are being masked by changes in mining conditions, acquisitions and disposals. In 2008, Group wide roll-out began of Project REDUCE, which aims to improve and, where possible, automate energy data collection.
In 2008, critical shortages of energy in a number of countries of operation compounded the challenges of the Company’s ongoing efficiency programme. In some cases, this meant that less efficient and more polluting sources of energy needed to be found in the interim. Energy shortages had a considerable effect in South Africa and Chile, where power supply constraints were a major inhibitor of the mining industry’s ability to expand to meet demand levels. In both countries, the Company has engaged with power utilities and relevant authorities to find solutions, implement efficiency measures, and make contingency plans for unplanned power outages.