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Nigerian power company AllBase Energy wants to enter Angola this year

Nigerian electric company AllBase Energy is planning to expand its solar power distribution system to Angola in the third quarter of this year, the company's chief executive Kunle Odebunmi said Thursday, as quoted by Africa Report.

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According to the African news agency, the Nigerian company already has people in Angola developing the strategy and is planning a funding round in the second quarter worth "several million dollars", which will be used to finance the entry into Angola and increase market share in Nigeria.

In the article, it is explained that the size of the Angolan market is the main argument that puts the country at the top of the list for international expansion, and it is pointed out that the rapid growth in demand was another key factor in the choice.

"The country's goal is to have an electrification rate of 60 percent by 2025, with renewable energy representing more than 7.5 percent of the total, but even if Angola achieves that goal, 40 percent of the population will still need access to electricity," explained the director of the Nigerian company.

According to the Angolan Solar Industry Association, cited in the article, Angola is among the countries where social energy developers have received contracts without going through public tenders, which "has the benefit of increasing the speed of project implementation, but also involves significant project development and financing challenges."

AllBase uses 'internet of things' based technology to distribute solar power and batteries, in a model where the system can be used by other energy companies.

Electrification has been one of Angola's priorities, with the World Bank announcing in February the approval of a $250 million Angola Electricity Sector Improvement and Access Project for the provinces of Luanda, Benguela, Huila and Huambo.

"The Project for Improvement and Access to the Electricity Sector will finance electrification investments in the provinces of Luanda, Benguela, Huíla and Huambo, making 196,500 new electricity connections that will benefit about one million people and 93,857 public lighting poles," reads the statement sent then.

The total cost of the project is US$417 million, funded with a US$250 million loan from the World Bank and a US$167 million credit from the French Development Agency, and "will focus on expanding access to electricity and improving revenue collection, improving energy services, improving the capacity of PRODEL (Public Company for Electricity Production) and strengthening the sustainable management of thermal power plants."

Quoted in the statement, the World Bank's director in Angola, Jean-Christophe, said that "investment in infrastructure, especially in energy, is fundamental for economic development and quality access to electricity services will have a knock-on effect in many other sectors, including agribusiness, health, education, just to name a few."

Access to energy in Angola, despite the fast-paced development of power generation capacity, "is limited to less than 40 percent of citizens, with inadequate services impacting poverty, productivity, and regional disparities," he said.

The official added that the project aims to address the most critical actions needed to help expand access to electricity, improve the operational and commercial performance of companies, and ultimately increase their credibility.

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