Centrotec expands into African PV market

With Solar23’s history of operating in the African market, the move will help to give Centrosolar "an early foothold on the African continent", according to Gert-Jan Huisman, CEO of Centrotec Sustainable AG.

He commented: "Africa, too, will witness the emergence of a growth market for energy saving and renewable energy over the next few years; we aim to address that demand with innovative energy-saving solutions, while at the same time taking serious social responsibility to preserve the earth’s resources and promote sustainable development."

Solar23 focuses on off-grid photovoltaics and solar thermal projects in Africa. With 15 employees, its expected revenue this year is €5 million to €6 million. The company will be incorporated into the Ubbink Group. The management, however, will remain on board.

Furthermore, according to a statement issued: "The company [Solar23] has realized a large number of projects in Africa in these areas in recent years. Through its current projects, it has built up an extensive network of partners in the principal African target markets, in some cases acquiring minority interests. On this basis, Solar23 provides an excellent springboard from which to tap into the growth markets for renewable energy and energy-saving systems in Africa, through the combination of German engineering and efficient, competitive local installation experts."

Centrotec added that it intends to use Solar23’s experience in solar thermal systems to expand its existing network with products from other Centrosolar subsidiaries. Synergies with the solar module plant of Ubbink East Africa Ltd., established last year, will also reportedly be exploited. Additionally, Centrotec said that Solar23 will be able to sell its new energy roof in Germany.