The African diesel generators market

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Exclusive interview with Ghulam Rasool Sales & Technical Manager Adpower FZCO on diesel generators market in Africa

Adpower FZCO is a Total Solutions Provider for the Power & Water industries, strategically located in Dubai. For almost 20 years, Adpower has been operating in the Middle Eastern & African markets providing turnkey solutions for Power and Water to a variety of sectors. Adpower serves off-grid power requirements for construction, telecom, rail and oil & gas industries in the MENA region.

How does Adpower FZCO see the African diesel generator market?

Diesel Generators is a growing market in Africa. We have been supplying generators to Africa since 2001 and have seen double digit growth in volume year over year. The demand for power is increasing in Africa as industrialization takes place and African products start selling globally.

Why should Africa embrace diesel generators as a form of backup power?

Most of the African countries are facing severe power crises due to less resources or poor infrastructure and in this case Diesel Generators are the fastest method to supply power to Africa. Diesel Generators are portable and can be mobilized within a few days. We can ship Diesel generators to remote areas in Africa within a few days and send a crew to commission the generator. Compared to Diesel Generators, other power solutions like alternate energy and Gas Turbine power plants have a long lead time and commissioning can take a few more months. One other advantage of Diesel Generator as a back-up power source is that it can supply power instantly in case of a blackout.

What are the challenges in the African market in terms of installation and maintenance of diesel generators?

Installation and service is a challenge in remote areas of Africa. We have established depot at key locations to service our customer needs for new installations and service of generators supplied by ADPOWER. In fact ADPOWER is the only company providing services in most difficult countries of Africa like Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea and Cameron and We are  proud to say that ‘’Somalia Runs on Adpower’s Generators’’.

Also Read: Getting the best out of your diesel generator

What do you think can be done to overcome these challenges?

Adpower is a firm believer in best in class customer service. Power is a critical need and we intend to provide services with minimum power interruptions for our customers. Adpower is a power solutions provides for Africa where we supply equipment, parts and services. The supply of parts and services has to be localized in Africa to respond to our customer needs. We are establishing local partnership throughout Africa to provide best in class service.

With most countries in Africa embracing renewable energy, how do you as a manufacturer ensure you do not become obsolete?

Adpower is a leader in renewable energy. In addition to Diesel Generators, we are supplying SOLAR tower lights, SOLAR Water Pumping Systems and SOLAR power packs. We are actively promoting the use of SOLAR products to minimize dependency on fossil fuel and progress towards renewable energy. Our hybrid power solution includes Solar or Wind combined with Diesel Generators.

How is the future of diesel generators as a form of back-up power for Africa looking?

Diesel Generators as form of back-up power or prime base load power is still the lowest CAPX solution. The cost of Diesel Generators is less than US $300,000 per Megawatt as compared to renewable energy, Gas Turbines or industrial generators which are all above US $500,000 per MW. We see Diesel Generators growing in Africa for the next 5 years and will eventually slow down as the grid supplied power becomes a dependable source or as we develop micro power solutions in a localized grid, but there will be always a need of standby generators, they are an essential requirement in the modern / developed world to meet the emergency outages. Developed world is buying more Generators than developing world. There are laws and regulations to protect public and to provide safety from outages and emergencies.

What are some of Adpower’s future plans for the African market?

Adpower has aggressive growth plans for Africa including local depot to supply equipment, parts and services. We are engaging our existing customers on renewable energy solutions like SOLAR, Wind and micro turbines. We plan to extend our distributed energy solutions to Africa to provide power close to point of use and reduce dependency on fossil fuels. Our goal is to develop low cost and dependable distributed energy models that can be installed in remote areas. We see localized grids and renewable energy sources in high demand as Africa goes through industrialization and self-sustain community with good quality of life.