CAPE TOWN: South African energy company, Gridbow Engineers, is this month set to commence operations in Zambia. Gridbow Engineers and Technical Services, a leading South African substation construction, civil engineering and renewable energy company, has partnered with Zambian entrepreneurs to set up a branch in Lusaka and offer electrical and civil engineering as well as renewable energy.
Gridbow Engineers head of marketing, Dinki Mactribouy, said the company hopes to cushion the current energy crisis the country is currently grappling with by providing an alternative energy resource. “We are looking at providing alternative renewable energy solutions to people living off the grid as well as those living on the grid but preferring to use solar energy to power their homes.
We will begin by importing the supplies required to assemble our products but the assembly will be done locally. We want to help mitigate the current energy crisis Zambia is facing by providing an alternative energy resource,” Mactribouy said in an interview. She also said the weakening of the local currency was making imports expensive.
“The business in Zambia is conducive if you look at it from the long-term perspective but obviously like all economies, including South Africa, the dollar is putting a lot of pressure on the local currency, making it difficult for importers. However, if you bring in forex in Zambia and consume in the local currency, you somehow enjoy some benefits,” Mactribouy said.
She also said the company had invested US$20 million in Zambia. “The company’s strategy is to shift some of its highly technical skills from South Africa to Zambia.
It will invest in the short term in equipment a warehouse and training of local engineers in order to participate in tenders involving the expansion of electrical and civil infrastructure and its long-term vision is to invest in renewable energy by setting up a solar power plant and sell power to the grid. We are looking at investing around US$20 million,” said Mactribouy.