InfraCo Africa and Afresco partner to deliver ‘Energy-as-a-Service’ solutions in Africa
Kampala, 26 April 2023 – ARE Member InfraCo Africa, part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), is delighted to announce its investment of US$1.5 million to enable Afresco’s `Energy-as-a-Service’ solution to bring clean, reliable power to Commercial and Industrial (C&I) clients in Uganda, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Gilles Vaes, CEO of InfraCo Africa said: “Afresco has developed a tailored ‘Energy-as-a-service’ offering designed to ensure that its customers have reliable access to power whilst reducing reliance on polluting diesel generation. Afresco offers an affordable power solution which can be installed on customers’ land, incorporated into shaded car parking or retrofitted as a rooftop solar installation, giving clients security of power supply upon which to base their own plans for growth.” He continued, “With our extensive experience in the sub-Saharan off-grid market, InfraCo Africa is pleased to be supporting Afresco – our first C&I investment – as it seeks to scale its offering in the region.”
Africa has considerable potential as a productive hub including in manufacturing, agri-processing and tourism, with a youthful population, supportive governmental policies and vast natural resources. However, in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, the productivity of businesses is constrained by unreliable access to energy. As a result, many industrial sites rely heavily on diesel generators. Such solutions are inefficient, increasingly expensive and, most significantly, contribute to high carbon emissions.
A new paradigm of distributed, renewable energy technologies has emerged in the last few years, largely driven by entrepreneurial firms benefitting from Africa’s high levels of solar irradiation. These new companies currently comprise one of Africa’s fastest-growing sectors and, if they work in partnership with national utilities, their development impact has the potential to be rapid and effective. Until now, these new technological approaches have been concentrated in a relatively limited number of countries. With its operational experience in underserved geographies and expertise in the C&I space, Afresco is well placed to promote commercial and industrial development across the wider region.
Dr Michael H. Gera, CEO and Co-founder of Afresco said of today’s announcement: “InfraCo Africa has shown us again and again over the last months the extent of their expertise and the strength of their support. This has culminated in their highly welcome financial backing. We are honoured and most thankful to be a part of their portfolio of companies and greatly look forward to working with the InfraCo Africa team to accomplish our important mission.”
The initial phase of the project will see the development of solar PV plus battery C&I energy solutions with initial emphasis on Uganda, the DRC and Malawi and is expected to serve customers involved with hospitality, agri-processing and cold storage. It is anticipated that this initial phase will enable Afresco to attract further private investment, supporting the scale-up of the business in other underserved sub-Saharan markets.