June 19, 2024

Oredola Adeola

 

 

All On, a Shell-funded impact investment company, and Auxano Solar Nigeria Limited have commissioned Nigeria’s biggest fully automated 100MW solar photovoltaic (PV) module assembly factory located in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos, targeted at reducing Nigeria’s dependence on imported solar panels, thereby driving down forex costs and creating economies of scale in the use of climate-smart alternative energy sources.

 

 

The landmark facility, financed by All On as part of its $2 million investment in Auxano Solar in 2021, was commissioned on Thursday to lower renewable energy transition costs, guarantee quality facility and potentially reduce the cost of solar energy for consumers.

 

Caroline Eboumbou, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, All On, in a goodwill remark, stated that the facility represents a significant milestone in the growth and development of the renewable energy sector in Nigeria and Africa at large.

 

 

According to her, All On has been there with Auxano from the early days – from a USD50k investment in 2018 to a much larger $1.5million investment in 2020; at the height of the COVID disruption to an additional $500k in 2022.

 

 

She noted that All On and Auxano have navigated supply chain crunches, forex challenges, business development issues, and the ups and downs of being a manufacturer in a tough environment, expressing confidence in the sustainability of the company’s growth.

 

The CEO noted that the project marked a transition from Auxano Solar’s previous 10MW semi-automated solar panel production plant to a cutting-edge, fully automated 100MW assembly and production factory.

 

 

She said, “The success of Auxano as the first privately-owned solar assembly factory is a triumph for the promotion of local manufacturing within the Nigerian renewable energy sector.

 

“Our investment in this factory aligns with All On’s commitment to inspire other stakeholders, investors, and government to localize the solar supply chain, ultimately driving affordability and accessibility of solar products, especially in light of the growing interest in solar energy solutions among Nigerians,” Eboumbou said.

 

The All On CEO further said that Auxano Solar Nigeria’s growth as the first private assembler of solar panels is a success story that ought to inspire other players in the renewable energy sector in Nigeria.

 

 

She emphasised that in the initial stages, the company hired students from a local technical school who were trained by foreign experts, and as the first of its kind, the Auxano plant is expected to produce 150 panels daily, 3,000 panels monthly, and about 72,000 panels yearly.

 

 

Osagie Okubor, Country Chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria, who was represented at the event by Mr. Hans Nijkamp, Shell All on Board member said, “The Auxano project is a visual representation of what we at Shell, hoped to achieve when we established All On in 2017.

 

 

He said, “With the singular goal of helping energy-poor communities in Nigeria gain access to energy by unlocking potential off-grid clean energy solutions, All On has made strategic investments to achieve this and we are proud that our support for All On has culminated in the commissioning we are witnessing today.”

 

 

Engr. Salihijo Ahmad, Managing Director, Rural Electrification Agency (REA) Nigeria revealed that the attempt aimed at localizing Renewable Energy (RE) equipment supply chains by developing local manufacturing capacity is one of the key strategies to ensure the security of supply of RE equipment for project deployment, while also fostering local economic growth and providing decent employment opportunities for Nigerians.

 

 

According to him, the launch of this first-of-its-kind 100 MW solar panel assembly plant in Nigeria by Auxano Solar signifies the company’s steadfast focus on bringing such a landmark project to life, despite some contrary economic indicators.

 

 

The REA MD further said, “All On and other stakeholders deserved commendation for supporting the project directly with funding, technical assistance, licensing, and other relevant business facilitation services. These collaborations are very key and more of such are needed to address the twin problems energy poverty and the
climate crises pose.”

 

 

Governor Babajide Sanwoolu of Lagos State, in his goodwill message delivered at the event, said that the formal commissioning of a 100MW world-class solar manufacturing and assembly plant of Auxano Solar Nigeria Limited is coming at this time when Nigeria is demonstrating serious commitment to the execution of the national energy transition plan.

 

 

The Governor who was represented at the occasion by Mr. Anthonio Ayodele, General Manager, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency ( LASEPA), commended, Mr. Demola Onanuga, Board Chairman, management and staff of Auxano Solar Nigeria Limited for the successful completion of this brand-new plant.

 

 

He said the decision to establish the plant in Lagos State will open the doors of opportunity for the citizens of the state, especially in the area of deepening local technical knowledge and expertise in solar/renewable energy technology.

 

 

Governor Sanwoolu therefore reemphasized the commitment of the Lagos State Government to transitioning towards ensuring universal access to clean. affordable, and reliable energy, part of which is the State’s goal to deploy IGiggaWatts of solar PV solutions by 2030.

 

 

He said, “The commitment is evident in the various policies and strategies that we have put in place to create an enabling environment for the widespread adoption of renewable energy technologies.

 

 

“The establishment of this 100MW PV Manufacturing and Assembly Plant represents a significant milestone in our efforts to transform our energy landscape.

 

 

“It aligns with the central Traffic Management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology (T.H.E.M.E.S) agenda of this administration, with the overarching goals of economic development, job creation for our youth, cleaner energy options, and shared prosperity,” the Governor said.

 

 

Governor Sanwoolu, therefore, emphasised that the electricity generated by the solar facility will not only be a source of clean and sustainable power but will also have a profound impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including CO2, as well as other harmful pollutants such as sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter.

 

Hon. Afam Victor Ogene, representing Ogbaru Federal Constituency, Anambra State, Chairman, House of Representative Committee on Renewable Energy, in his remark congratulated the Auxano Solar Nigeria Ltd for the unveiling of the 100MW Solar PV Manufacturing and Assembly facility.

 

 

According to him, Nigeria suffers from inadequate energy supply, and it is, indeed, worrisome that even in the midst of this obvious energy crisis, the situation is made even more dire, given the frequency of national electricity grid collapse – two or three times within the last three weeks – resulting in total blackout in business concerns and homes.

 

 

He said, “Hopes of an early resolution of the problem appears far-fetched, at least, not with the reality of decaying infrastructure and huge replacement costs starring us all in the face.”

 

 

Hon. Ogene Ogbaru, therefore invited the Auxano and other critical players and stakeholders to collaborate with his Rep. Committee, to undertake what he described as the onerous task of formulating policies and initiatives geared towards the acceleration of investment in renewable energy technologies.

 

 

He also commended Demola Onanuga, Chairman of the Auxano group, for realizing, early enough, the need for synergy between the public and private sectors, in the overall goal of harnessing our Nation’s huge potentials in the emergent Renewable Energy sector.

 

 

Chuks Umezulora, Co-Founder & CEO of Auxano Solar Nigeria, in his remark, emphasised that commissioning the Auxano Solar 100MW automated solar panel factory; the first and biggest in the country right now is a dream come true.

 

 

He said, “Nigeria may be behind on so many things necessary for development, but I am determined to be a part of the solution. This factory is my contribution to the growth of our economy, and I hope my story of grit and dedication inspires someone to try something even bigger. Go for it, because you can.”

 

 

 

“Spanning across an impressive 5730 square meters of land, the newly commissioned 100MW premium PV module assembly factory integrates production, warehousing, and office spaces.

 

 

“Equipped with advanced Asian-certified production equipment, the facility is designed to manufacture high-quality PV modules known for their efficiency, durability, and adaptability to various weather conditions.

 

 

The CEO of Auxano therefore stated that the factory has proudly employed a substantial local workforce to oversee its operations. Notably, a significant portion of the factory’s power supply is generated by Auxano solar panels.

 

 

Demola Onanuga, Chairman of Auxano Solar on his part said that the formal take-off of the Auxano solar assembly plan will close the deficit in electricity accessibility in the country.

 

 

He stated that the 100MW module assembly factory will help to reduce the unit rate of solar power in Nigeria and make it affordable for households and businesses.

 

 

Onanuga, therefore assured the Auxano’s readiness to meet the growing demand for solar panels in Nigeria, adding that the company is already in talks with partners to expand the factory capacity and establish more factories in different parts of the country.