Kenya’s Safaricom and General Electric’s Energy Story yesterday signed a Kshs 43 million deal that will see GE supply Safaricom with 48 GE Durathon batteries to capacitate Safaricom’s network to run efficiently during power outages.
GE President and CEO for Africa, Jay Ireland speaking at the announcement event yesterday said GE is committed to partnering with stakeholders to broaden the innovation play in Kenya and the rest of Africa. He said sustainable power supply continues to be one of Africa’s critical challenges and Kenya is no exception.
“Kenya is growing rapidly and to ensure that we have an enabling environment that supports sustainable growth, we need to adopt innovative ways to overcome inhibiting challenges such as interrupted power supply. The GE Durathon battery will achieve just that for Safaricom and its customers,” he said.
He elaborated the battery provides reliable and cost-effective power for the telecommunications sector at reduced fuel costs.
“Durathon Battery technology is one of the first batteries in the world to be designed specifically for Charge Discharge Cycling (CDC) telecom applications. By using batteries as the primary energy source in a continuous charge-discharge-cycling (CDC) operating mode, fuel costs and emissions can be substantially reduced and overall system efficiency dramatically improved. Durathon Batteries are not affected by ambient temperature, so operators save money and space by removing unnecessary HVAC and complex cooling systems, making it the perfect solution for installations in extreme environments, he said.
He said Durathon Batteries are ideal for back-up applications in urban centres where space is at a premium. “They are designed to run at 48V and constructed from abundantly available materials, individual Durathon Battery modules are inherently less attractive to thieves looking to run consumer electronics or recoup material reclamation,” Ireland said.
Speaking at the same event, Director General of Vision 2030’S Mugo Kibati praised GE and Safaricom for driving efficiency and innovation in Kenya’s telecommunications industry.
“Today marks a key milestone that will change the face of Kenya’s telecommunications industry. Safaricom continues to be a trend setter in improving our connectivity and ensuring that we are on par with the best in the world. Other African telecommunications companies can learn a lot from Safaricom on how to circumvent challenges that negatively impact their ability to grow,” he said. Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore expressed his company’s excitement on acquiring this new technology and said Safaricom continues to put the customer first. Safaricom has so far installed 32 batteries in 20 sites within the CBD to remarkable results. According to Mr. Collymore, the business has already registered a 63% reduction in total power failures and an 80% reduction in the duration of outages.
“The introduction of using this technology will ensure that our customer receives uninterrupted usage of our mobile services. It also re-affirms our strong commitment to lowering our carbon footprint through efficient consumption of energy by exploring alternative energy solutions and improving overall quality of service through innovation,” Collymore said.
He said the announcement is a clear indication that the private sector is committed to working together to deliver a world class economy for Kenya by 2030.