Foreign Firms to Develop Solar Projects Across Nigeria

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A Germany-based global solar developer, Soventix, and Gentec EPC have formed a joint venture called Soventix Hybrid Limited to develop solar projects across Nigeria.

With the agreement and respective capabilities, both companies have secured a strong market position in the Nigerian solar market, according to a statement from the firms.

The Founder, Gentec EPC, Deepak Khilnani, said, “We are very excited about this partnership with Soventix. Gentec is continually seeking to bring innovative and diversified energy offerings to the Nigerian market and we believe solar energy meets the customer requirements: reliable, affordable and emission-free power.

“The credibility, expertise and proven track record of the Soventix management team gave us a lot of confidence that Soventix is the correct solar partner.”

According to the statement, Soventix Hybrid will initially focus on industrial rooftop solar applications that synchronise with the existing generators or grid power systems.

It said this model would enable industries to have an additional source of power generation at a lower price than diesel power, while also significantly reducing emissions.

The companies said the second phase of the joint venture would also aim to develop national solar parks that would feed clean energy into the Nigerian grid.

“The beauty of solar energy is that the tariffs are fixed over a 20-year period, given there is no fuel input and hence, industries can effectively plan their long-term energy costs. Moreover, solar energy is already more competitive against fossil fuels with regard to pricing per kWh,” they said.

The Chief Executive Officer, Soventix, Thorsten Preugschas, noted that a reliable energy supply from renewable energy sources was becoming more and more important for African countries, particularly Nigeria.

He said, “Since Africa in particular suffers deeply from the effects of climate change, ecological energy solutions gain importance. Combining cost savings with the ecological advantage, we see great potential for solar energy in Nigeria.

“We believe this will be a successful partnership combining Gentec’s established market presence and strong local service team in Nigeria with Soventix’s comprehensive solar capabilities.”

According to the statement, Soventix has developed a wide spectrum of solar projects ranging from a 33-megawatts grid-connected solar park in the Dominican Republic (phase I), the largest solar project in the Caribbean, to rooftop installations catering to industrial sites.

The German solar company builds and operates PV solar systems around the globe, with operational solar plants and branches in 12 countries and four continents. It has developed large-scale Greenfield solar projects in South Africa, where one of its biggest branches is located.

Given the significant shortfall of reliable power across Nigeria, at a residential, industrial and national grid level, solar energy is said to be well positioned to play a major role in the country’s energy mix.

The United States Agency for International Development estimates that 95 million Nigerians, approximately 55 per cent of the population, do not have access to electricity and those that are connected to the grid suffer from extensive power outages.

The statement said Khilnani had been an advocate of cleaner sources of energy in Nigeria since the late 1990s, particularly promoting the utilisation of domestic natural gas and moving away from diesel and heavy fuel oil.

It said Gentec installed the first gas generators in Nigeria in 2001 and the first waste heat recovery system for customers to get better fuel efficiency from their generators and further minimise carbon emissions.

Source: The Punch

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