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Burkina Faso has set up a solar panel manufacturing plant. A first in West Africa which confirms the vocation of this country concerned with mastering its entire solar industry. Supported by the government, Faso Energy has just launched its production. The State, which multiplies the creation of solar power plants, will place orders to it in order to support the sector.
Two hundred solar panels now leave the workshops of Faso Energy, located in the suburbs of Ouagadougou, every day. About fifty employees were trained by a European group which also supplied the production line.
Jeremy Zmuda is the Managing Director of Faso Energy. ” We have a Spanish partner who came to install the entire production unit. So currently we have a European production unit, with trained staff. We therefore have a quality product, on which we can give guarantees to local consumers. »
The quality of solar installations is one of the objectives sought by the Ministry of Energy in a country overwhelmed by low-cost panels. Bachir Ouedraogo is the Burkinabè Minister of Energy. ” We are inundated with panels of questionable quality. Also with the dumping mechanism, there are reconditioned panels that are sent to Africa and Burkina Faso, and we told ourselves that the best way to be able to control the quality is to be able to produce ourselves. »
The Agency for the Promotion of Renewable Energies and the authorities are setting up a certification system for imported solar panels, in particular so as not to penalize local production. The Faso Energy plant, for its part, benefits from incentives to make it competitive with low-cost imports.
Jeremy Zmuda : « We have some facilities at the fiscal level, at the level of the investment code and the exemption from VAT, which allows us to fight on equal terms. »
The government’s objective is broader, it is to control the entire solar industry. Faso Energy will therefore receive public orders. Sixteen power plants are currently under development in Burkina Faso. Bachir Ouedarogo. ” We will do everything so that the Burkinabè industry can live and sell its panels, can participate in the construction of the energy sector at the country level. By allowing them to build power plants and support us in this energy policy that we are in the process of implementing. »
Within five years, Burkina Faso will have installed a total capacity of 500 megawatts of solar energy. The country also intends to develop a storage industry. The Ministry of Energy is in talks with an industrialist for a factory to manufacture batteries for domestic use.