Stéphane Richard, CEO of Orange, and Isabelle Kocher, Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer of ENGIE, signed a partnership covering two projects – the expansion of the rural electricity grid and ENGIE’s optimisation of energy supplied to Orange’s telecoms infrastructure in Africa.
The deal between Orange and ENGIE––both official partners of COP21––reasserts the companies’ willingness to use their technological knowledge to achieve sustainable progress and economic and social development in Africa.
The strength of the partnership is based on Orange’s expertise as an international telecoms carrier present in 19 countries in Africa and the Middle East, and ENGIE’s know-how as an international player in the the energy sector.
Orange is keen to take part in such a major challenge to expand the electricity grid in Africa and encourage responsible power consumption on the continent based on the expertise of ENGIE, one of the world’s leading energy companies.
ENGIE currently supplies 760 MW of power in Africa and aims to become one of the major energy leaders on the continent by 2025 with several major projects planned. To reinforce its position as the leading independent producer of electricity in Africa, ENGIE has created a dedicated Business Unit with around a hundred employees.
Orange and ENGIE bring electricity to rural Africa
Based on Orange’s expertise as a telecoms carrier and ENGIE’s experience in renewable energy production, aggregation and maintenance, the two Groups will trial a range of domestic power supply solutions for rural populations that could then be marketed by Orange.
These solutions could, for instance, include individual solar kits and small-scale, local electricity networks. The service could then be billed via mobile using Orange Money.
The trials will allow the companies to validate the technical solutions, the sales and distribution models, and the economic feasibility of the service before making it available on a larger scale.
Orange and ENGIE are keen to play their role as socially responsible players in Africa, where an estimated 69% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa and 90% of the rural population in the same region have no access to the electricity grid(1).
ENGIE helps to optimise the supply of Orange telecoms towers
ENGIE supports Orange with its ongoing project to optimise the power supply of its technical infrastructure in Africa. ENGIE will offer its expertise to improve Orange’s energy efficiency.
Orange’s objectives are to pursue its stable and secure power supply program, reduce its energy footprint, and contain costs despite rapidly growing energy requirements.
(1) BearingPoint Study 2014 – L’électrification rurale en Afrique (the electricity grid in rural Africa)