One hundred and twenty one community-based organisations and 9 schools in rural areas of Zambia will soon be getting BP Solar panels to generate electricity for lighting, radio, television and refrigeration. The panels will be supplied by Apex-BP Solar, a subsidiary of BP France, which has been awarded a contract through its distributor Electrical Maintenance Lusaka Limited (EML) by Zambia Social Investment Fund. Apex-BP Solar will supply, the solar panels, EML will deliver and install the panels and also train their users in various schools and health centres in Zambia.
The project will produce a peak power of almost 250 kilowatts (kWp).
Zambia Social Investment Fund, a unit of the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, is managing a development credit agreement signed with the International Development Association (IDA).
Commenting on the announcement, Mr Michel Mansard, Apex-BP Solar’s Regional Sales Manager said: “This programme is the perfect illustration of BP Solar presence in south and west Africa.”
Mr George Narder, EML Chairman, said: “I have been fully committed to development especially of rural areas for the last 40 years I have lived in Zambia and I look forward to continuing this process with Apex-BP Solar.
“Our success lies on quality both of equipment and workmanship. The Clinics and Schools need the most reliable installation being so isolated and far away from the main cities.”
Arnaud Mine, CEO of Apex-BP Solar, said: “This project is another example of the part solar energy is called on to play in sustainable development in Africa. It combines environmental, economic and social considerations, while obviating the need to set up capital-intensive infrastructure in the regions concerned. The same technology is already available in Europe for more specific applications.”
Apex-BP Solar, which is based in Montpellier, in the southern part of France, is a subsidiary of BP France since 1999. It specialises in the design and construction of solar panel systems and in incorporating BP Solar modules in installations designed to customers’ specifications. The company has a network of establishments in France and the French overseas territories.
EML, which is based in Lusaka began its activities in 1964 and focused on electrical contracting services and maintenance. It has expanded over the years and employed at its peak a total staff of 600 employees active in various fields including the manufacture of electrical light fittings, domestic and security lighting, distribution boards and motor control centres. EML has succeeded in the last few years to become one of the major players in the solar industry in Zambia.
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