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International power company Engie has inaugurated its first mini-grid in Zambia. The mini-grid, named PowerCorner, has been installed in the Zambian village of Chitandika.

Engie inaugurates first mini grid in Zambia

Chitandika, located in the East of Zambia, has 378 households (1500 inhabitants) who previously had no access to electricity. This mini-grid provides energy to these households as well as local businesses, and supports public services including two schools and the community’s Rural Health Centre. According to Engie, PowerCorner will foster economic development by enabling other uses of the electricity generated, such as water pumping for agriculture use or carpentry and welding machines, and will create business opportunities for entrepreneurs in the village. 

In addition to this mini-grid, Engie has electrified a number of villages in Tanzania and Zambia. The company has a total of 13 mini-grids in operation, with more under construction. Engie aims to develop 2 000 mini-grids in Africa by 2025, enabling 2.5 million people to access renewable, reliable and cost-effective energy.

“At Engie, we believe that universal access to electricity is possible in the foreseeable future thanks to a smart combination of national grid extensions, mini-grids and solar home systems, depending on the local characteristics of energy demand. Engie is already present along the whole spectrum of solutions with its subsidiaries PowerCorner and Fenix for off-grid solutions, and utility-scale grid connected generation such as Kathu, our 100 MW concentrated solar power plant in South Africa. Within a constantly changing world, it is Engie’s role to make a cost-efficient zero-carbon transition possible for the benefit of the African population,” says Isabelle Kocher, the company’s CEO.

Engie recently announced the expansion of expanding Fenix, its solar home system business. Since the launch of its operations in Zambia in October 2017, Engie Fenix has reached 70 000 customers in the country, supplying 350 000 people with clean lighting and power. To date, Fenix has sold over 400 000 solar home systems across Uganda, Zambia, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast and Benin.

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