On 9th April, 2014, Mr. Hong Xiang, from Hanergy Holding Group, accompanied by his Project Developer, Mr Adebayo, paid a working visit to ECREEE; the aim of which was to gain better knowledge of ECREEE’s activities and discuss possible areas for future collaboration.

Mr Hong, the Vice president of the Africa Regional Company requested to present a short video of the company’s areas of activities and expertise. The video showed that, Hanergy Holding Group are into the technologies of Solar PV, Wind Power, Geothermal, and Hydroelectric Power. Mr. Hong said the company invests, build and implement different forms of Renewable Energy for both national grids and off-grid solutions.

The company is already established and working in the Asia-Pacific, South America and currently in Africa. Though in Africa they are formally based in Mauritius, their presence is already in many West African countries namely: Ghana, Senegal, Cameroun, Niger and Cote D’Ivoire. As the biggest private company from China investing in RE, they have over 300,000 MW of installed hydroelectric power worldwide. He said, so far, they are into solar PV development in Africa. They are also concentrating on mini-grids at the moment though they intend going into grid connected Solar PV e.g. they have signed a PPA agreement with the government of Ghana to provide 400 MW Solar PV in the northern regional capital of Tamale.

They are also working in Niger on a small off-grid Solar Power generation. The aim is to help families in rural areas without access to electricity.

Explaining their quest to provide solar electricity for Hospital refrigeration, he said, the company has working partnership with another company who produces hospital refrigerators in-line with their specifications so that they can power it with solar energy. They have applied for a tender in Cote D’Ivoire and have some projects in Cameroun and Senegal. Mr. Hong explained that they are here to seek more advice from ECREEE on the West African market and at the same time, seek more working collaboration with the centre.

On behalf of the ED and staff of ECREEE, Mr. Saho expressed the appreciation of the centre to Mr. Hong for their desire to work in the African market. He gave a brief but concise explanation of the mandate, vision and objectives of ECREEE and also explained the role of ECOWREX to foreign investors like Hanergy Holdings Group. He reiterated the need for Mr Hong to visit the Observatory to view all the RE investment opportunities of West Africa at the site. Ending, he emphasised the fact that, ECREEE is willing to facilitate the work of investors who wish to work in the sub-region. Following this information, Mr. Hong asked about how ECREEE gets funding to implement its projects.

Contributing to the discussions and in answer to this question, Nicola Bugatti noted that, ECREEE is not an investment organisation that implements projects. Instead, ECREEE is a specialised regional agency that facilitates the promotion and market penetration of renewable energy solutions in the region, thereby working for and on behalf of the ECOWAS member states. Further discussions on closer collaboration between ECREEE and Hanergy Holding Group ended with the assurance that, any correspondence from ECREEE to Mr. Hong will be answered to pave way for broader rapport between the two organisations.