The parent company of First WATT Renewables Limited, WATT Renewable Corporation, has signed a $13 million deal with Empower New Energy to reduce diesel use in powering telecommunications infrastructure.
At the signing ceremony in Lagos, the partners said that the investment would cover modernizing existing sites, powering telecommunication sites, and doing turnkey-type work on new sites to help them stay sustainable.
Oluwole Eweje, the CEO of WATT Renewable Corporation, said: “To start off, we are looking at modernizing over 200 telecom sites within 10 months, and part of that plan is to reduce consumption of diesel by 3 million liters on an annual basis.”
He added that the project will need the employment of 100 people to construct 200 telecom infrastructures, modernize them, and operate them efficiently.
The intent is to ensure that telecom infrastructure is actually sustainable and also cost-effective because what tends to happen is the more expensive the operational costs of telecom mast, for example, in Nigeria, the more expensive the tariff that is being passed on to customers will be.
So, the more sustainable the telecom mast, the cheaper we can make it, not just build it, but the cheaper we can actually operate it.
With the fact that the price of diesel has gone up to N1,000/liter since August, industry experts are worried over the cost telecom operators will use to power telecom sites, seeing that expenditure spent on diesel by telecom operators in a month is 40 million liters.
Considering the diesel consumption figure and its current price, telecom services will spend about N40 billion monthly and N480 billion annually to keep their services online.
More About WATT
Speaking further about WATT, Terje Osundsen, CEO of Empower New Energy said,
This agreement will enable First WATT to solarise with PV panels and batteries, in more than 250 towers in Nigeria and the early phases will span for 10 years.
There will be a new phase and then we will be discussing taking part in the future expansion as well.
Empower New Energy is a Norwegian-based company focused on investing in renewables in Africa.
WATT will provide grid, off-grid, micro-grid, and energy management services and solutions needed in the telecommunications and financial services industry. WATT has over 10 megawatts installed across the world, and it focuses on the implementation of Sustainable Development Projects, concentrating on infrastructure projects.