EDF takes 50% stake in BBOXX Togo

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EDF has announced the acquisition of a 50% stake in BBOXX Togo, in the latest example of a major global energy player taking an interest in off-grid developments in sub Saharan Africa.

The two companies signed a cooperation agreement on Friday in the Togolese capital Lomé, stating plans to develop and market off-grid solutions for electricity in Togo, and to accelerate the delivery of a government electrification programme, which reportedly plans to deliver solar home systems to more than 500,000 people by 2030.

UK headquartered BBOXX has operated in Togo since 2017; and says that it has supplied electricity to 26,000 in the country via its solar home systems equipped with storage. EDF says that under the terms of this agreement, it will provide investment to speed up the deployment of the BBOXX systems, and also provide technical knowledge to improve the performance of the batteries.

“Our latest deal with EDF symbolises the first stepping stone in a strong strategic partnership,” says BBOXX CEO Mansoor Hamayun. “It will see us work together to bring smart and sustainable energy solutions and other vital utilities and value-added services to the underserved.”

With this partnership, the two companies are aiming for 35% share in Togo’s electricity market by 2024, and also have unspecified plans for further cooperation on the African continent. EDF also partnerships with California based startup Off Grid Electric in Ghana and Ivory Coast.

“By teaming up with BBOXX in Togo, the EDF Group has embarked on a new stage of development of its off-grid activities in Africa,” said Valerie Levkov, EDF’s Senior Vice-President in charge of Africa and Middle East. “We are proud to work with a partner like BBOXX, which shares our commitment to low carbon energies. The partnership that has just been set up fits in with the EDF strategy CAP 2030, whose main purpose is to triple our activities outside Europe.”

Major energy companies have taken increasing interest in off grid solutions in African countries in recent years, including ENGIE’s acquisition of U.S. based Fenix International in 2017, and oil giant Total’s 2016 move taking a stake in two off-grid startups.