At Fonroche, we’re keen to establish a local presence close to our lighting projects. After our recent interview with Ken in Kenya (no pun intended…), we’d like to tell you about our new subsidiary in Senegal. It was set up in June 2018 to deliver Fonroche’s largest-ever solar public lighting project, with installation of 50,000 off-grid streetlights across one-third of the country.
Read on for the inside story about Fonroche Lighting Senegal!
Fonroche expertise exports to Senegal
An autonomous local subsidiary
Today, the Senegalese team comprises a dozen people with a diverse range of backgrounds and profiles. The subsidiary’s director has the task of delivering the world’s largest-ever solar lighting project. His role includes liaising with ANER — Senegal’s national agency for renewable energies, the project owner — and the local partners in charge of installation. He’s also responsible for managing the teams, keeping track of costs, recruiting the right people and developing the subsidiary going forward.
To successfully deliver these local lighting projects, the subsidiary is recruiting in Senegal. Most newly hired team members complete training at Fonroche headquarters in France as part of a skills transfer arrangement — some for a few weeks, others much longer. The objective is to ensure that the teams have the know-how they need and that the same high standards are applied across all our projects around the world. More people will be recruited between now and the start of 2020 to keep pace with the rapid rate of installation and the broad geographic spread of projects across 14 regions.
One team, two facilities
Our Senegal subsidiary operates out of two sites. The first is in a residential district of Dakar called Fann Hock — not far from one of the capital’s universities. It’s a former apartment that’s been converted for business use. The 200 sq.m. (over 2,000 sq ft) open-plan workspace is home to the design office, logistics and sales. The accounts department is next to the subsidiary director’s office. A small inner courtyard is often used as an open-air meeting space — in the shadow of a banana tree.
The second site is the production facility. It’s located in Diamniadio, a rapidly growing city on the airport road about 30 kilometres (19 mi) from the capital. This 800 sq.m. (8,600 sq ft) hanger is where the LED light units are assembled and stored, and where the batteries are stored and programmed. It’s also where training is provided for the installation teams.
Solar solution for Senegal’s streets
Lighting for dozens of neighbourhoods in 2019
The local teams have already started installing solar streetlights in Dakar and its inner suburbs. The installation rate will be doubled between now and the end of the summer. Work is currently underway in five locations. Initial feedback from local residents is extremely positive, with people saying they especially appreciate the powerful illumination provided by the off-grid streetlights and their quick and easy installation.
Safety first in Senegal
Safety is always a priority at our lighting project sites. Before entering the work areas, everyone must be wearing their personal protective equipment — despite the heat and the dust, compliance with safety regulations is paramount for Fonroche Lighting.