French-based renewable solutions firm Fonroche Énergie has secured a $133 million contract for the provision of 67,000 solar street lights across 256 localities in Senegal. With deployment slated to commence in October this year at 1,200 units a week, the fleet of streetlights are expected to be fully operational in just over a year. The contract, signed with the Senegalese Ministry of Finance & Budget, forms part of strategic plans led by the country’s National Agency for Renewable Energy (ANER) in conjunction with the Ministry of Petroleum & Energies. Financing is provided by French banks BPI France and Société Générale, via the Senegalese government.
The streetlights will be seven meters high with a solar panel affixed and a battery for the storage of excess power generated, modulated by a smart control software system to see that lighting cycles are reliably sustained throughout the night. The nickel-alloy (NIMH) batteries are fully recyclable, boasting over ten years of operational capacity without maintenance and 30 years’ total effective lifespan for the lighting. All products will be manufactured in a factory in Agen, France, close to Fonroche’s headquarters in Lot-et-Garonne, Roquefort.
In Senegal, Fonroche has already proven the successful implementation of its solar street light systems. Initially brought in to provide 160 streetlights along the access road to Dakar’s new Blaise-Diagne international airport, the company was initially contracted in late 2017 to provide 50,000 streetlights for $95.7 million. Installation for these commenced in mid-2019, completed by the close of 2021 having been held back by COVID-related work closures and the country’s 8pm-6am curfew.
Estimates show a need for 300,000 streetlights in total across Senegal, thus Fonroche’s budding business core in the country could spell further big business down the line- beyond the 117,000 streetlights already deployed or slated for deployment. Furthermore, the fact that 80% of the global public lighting market is accounted for by emerging economies places the company in a strong position to consolidate its hold over West African lighting and renewable solutions provision, reaping the rewards generated by the region’s rapid development and urban expansion.
MSGBC Oil, Gas & POWER 2022
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