French utility ENGIE buys solar provider in Africa

French utility ENGIE is buying a company that provides solar power in Africa. Fenix International employs more than 350 people and has its main activities in Uganda. Its flagship product, […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

French utility ENGIE is buying a company that provides solar power in Africa.

Fenix International employs more than 350 people and has its main activities in Uganda.

Its flagship product, ReadyPay Power, provides lighting, phone charging and power for TVs and radios using solar power and is offered on a lease-to-own basis so off-grid customers can finance their power system through small instalments.

More than 600 people currently lack access to modern energy in Africa.

Bruno Bensasson, CEO of ENGIE Africa: “We believe that combining the strengths of ENGIE, a global energy player and Fenix, a successful company with very strong customer focus, high-quality products and an experienced team anchored in the heart of sub-Saharan Africa, will enable faster deployment of SHS [Solar Home Systems] to the large African population still lacking access to electricity.”

The investment is part of ENGIE’s goal of providing 20 million people with access to decarbonised energy by 2020.

The International Energy Agency yesterday revealed around $31 billion (£23.6bn) of investment a year is required to provide universal energy access by 2030, with a majority of it needed for sub-Saharan Africa and renewables.