ENGIE inaugurates first mini-grid in Zambia

engieENGIE has inaugurated its first PowerCorner in the Zambian village of Chitandika in presence of  the Zambian Minister of Energy, Matthew Nkhuwa, ENGIE’s leadership team as well as local stakeholders

There are 378 households (1,500 inhabitants) Chitandika, located in the East of Zambia, which lacked access to electricity. But ENGIE has made this a thing of the past with the installation of its first PowerCorner mini-grid in the area.

It provides energy to households and local businesses and supports public services such as a health centre and two schools. ENGIE’s PowerCorner will promote economic development by enabling other electrical productive uses (such as water pumping for agriculture use or carpentry and welding machines) and by triggering business opportunities for entrepreneurs in the village. 

ENGIE has successfully developed its own approach to mini-grids for the electrification of villages in Tanzania in addition to Zambia with a total of 13 mini-grids in operation and construction. ENGIE is pursuing its goal to develop 2,000 mini-grids by 2025 in Africa, enabling 2.5 million people, entrepreneurs, SMEs and local businesses to access renewable, reliable and cost-effective energy. 

As part of its decentralized energy developments, ENGIE is also expanding Fenix, its solar home system business. Since the launch of its operations in Zambia in October 2017, ENGIE Fenix has reached 70,000 customers in the country, supplying 350,000 people with clean lighting and power. To date, Fenix has sold more than 400,000 solar home systems across Uganda, Zambia, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast and Benin, changing the lives of over 2 million people.

Isabelle Kocher, CEO of ENGIE, said, “At ENGIE, we believe that universal access to electricity is possible in the foreseeable future thanks to a smart combination of national grid extensions, mini-grids and solar home systems, depending on the local characteristics of energy demand. ENGIE is already present along the whole spectrum of solutions with its subsidiaries PowerCorner and Fenix for off-grid solutions, and utility-scale grid connected generation such as Kathu, our 100 MW concentrated solar power plant in South Africa. Within a constantly changing world, it is ENGIE’s role to make a cost-efficient zero-carbon transition possible for the benefit of the African population.” 

Today, more than 600 million people or 60 per cent of the population living in sub-Saharan Africa still do not have access to electricity.

ENGIE is already a leader in off-grid electrification in Africa, offering clean, safe and reliable decentralised electricity from its mini-grids and SHS to more than two million people living in multiple African countries. 

ENGIE’s goal is to provide 20 million people around the world with decarbonised, decentralised energy supply by 2020 using the latest digital technologies.

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