Telecommunications company Orange and power supplier Engie have signed a deal to work together on two projects: expanding the rural electricity grid and Engie’s optimisation of energy supplied to Orange’s telecoms infrastructure in Africa.
Both companies are official partners of COP21.
The new partnership, signed by Orange CEO Stéphane Richard Engie deputy-CEO and chief operating officer Isabelle Kocher, 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 energy sector.
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 100 employees.
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.