• More reliable communications for 7.5 million Orange Guinée customers in West African country
  • Mobile phone access to be expanded to previously unconnected remote rural areas
  • 1500 telecom towers to use solar power and battery storage to reduce significantly diesel consumption and 1700 new jobs to be created

The European Investment Bank today confirmed its support to transformational telecom investment across Guinee. A new USD 30 million long-term loan with IPT Powertech Guinea represents the first ever support for an energy services company in Africa by Europe’s long-term lending institution and the first EIB investment to reduce use of diesel generators by energy-efficient sources for telecom infrastructure.

The 8 year-loan that will enable renewable energy and battery power and reduce diesel consumption for Orange Guinée towers across Guinea.was formally agreed at the Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg by Ambroise Fayolle, Vice President of the European Investment Bank and Mohamad Khalad Al Haffar Al Habbal, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of IPT Powertech Group.

“Developing and improving ICT will contribute to accelerate results in the sustainable development of the education, health, agriculture and energy sectors, all crucial for a better future for Guinea. It is to be noted that this trend in digitalization and new technologies applies of course to all our continent, which will create more employment for young people and women.” said H.E. Moustapha Mamy Diaby, Minister of Post, Telecommunications and the Digital Economy of the Republic of Guinea.

“Ensuring access to reliable mobile telecommunications is key for economic and social activity and this visionary project will contribute to sustainable development for millions of people across Guinea. The European Investment Bank is pleased to agree USD 30 million support for new telecom investment in West Africa that will transform reliability, reduce dependance on fossil fuels and expand mobile coverage. This new partnership between the EU Bank and IPT Powertech Guinea represents a model for high impact telecom investment in Africa.” said Ambroise Fayolle, Vice President of the European Investment Bank.

“IPT Powertech is committed to improving telecommunications infrastructure. The USD 30 million backing confirmed today with the European Investment Bank will accelerate our contribution to ensuring more reliable and clean energy telecommunications across Guinea.” Khaled Habbal, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of IPT Powertech Group.

“Orange works with the European Investment Bank around the world and we welcome their support in this important project for telecoms connectivity in Guinea. Thanks to this investment, over 7.5 million customers stand to benefit from improved access to Orange’s telecoms infrastructure with green energy in the entire country. In addition, this project will help us to achieve our sustainable development goals, clearly illustrating how energy efficiency can cut carbon emissions from the telecom sector,” Aboubacar Sadikh Diop, CEO of Orange Guinée.

“This visionary telecommunications and energy efficiency project will improve the lives of people across Guinea and demonstrates the benefit of close cooperation between Guinean and European partners. I congratulate partners in Guinea and the European Investment Bank, as well as other European and international partners for their engagement.” Ambassador Josep Coll, Head of the European Union Delegation to Guinea.

Ensuring and expanding reliable communications

The new project will ensure more reliable energy supply for 1,500 Orange Telecom towers across Guinea. At present mobile phone services can be unavailable for 4 hours a day due to power shortages.

New investment by IPT Powertech, backed by the EIB, will also support construction of 250 new energy efficient mobile communications towers that will enable telecom coverage to be provided for the first time to remote rural regions.

Cutting use of fossil fuels and risk of theft

Replacement of fossil-fuel diesel generators and air conditioning units with solar panels and battery technology will also reduce the risk of damage caused by diesel theft from telecom towers in remote locations.

The project is expected to enable energy saving of more than 75% to be achieved and contribute to a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Unlocking sustainable development, economic and social benefits

Across Africa and around the world mobile connectivity has transformed the lives of billions of people and quality of life improved as people gain access to mobile technology. In Guinea for many people mobile is the primary channel for accessing the internet and life-enhancing services.

This project will contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and help to reduce poverty, improve healthcare and education, and drive sustainable economic growth across Guinea.

European cooperation to strengthen high-impact telecom investment

Alongside the USD 30 million EIB loan financing the project will also be supported by DEG from Germany, Proparco from France and Finnfund from Finland.

Building on European Investment Bank telecom and energy efficiency engagement across Africa

The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank and last year provided more than EUR 3.3 billion for public and private sector investment across Africa.

In recent years the European Investment Bank has supported telecommunications investment in 14 Africa countries and financed telecom access between Africa and the rest of the world.