Ecobank taps solar power to cut costs


Humphrey Muturi, the executive director and head of commercial banking in Kenya and East African Community at Ecobank. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Ecobank has shifted to solar power in a move to reduce operation costs and ensure reliable power supply.

The pan African bank has signed an agreement with solar energy company Distributed Power Africa (DPA) to roll out solar power solutions in its seven branches across the country.

Ecobank joins the growing list of companies seeking reliable and cheaper power supply in what has rattled electricity distributor Kenya Power amid thinning revenues.

“Our partnership with DPA on solar retrofitting in our branches is in line with our commitment to create a healthy financial system, promote environmentally friendly solutions and pursue sustainability of our banking services,” said Cheikh Travaly, Ecobank Kenya managing director and regional executive central, eastern and southern Africa (CESA).

The seven Ecobank outlets where solar power solutions will be rolled out include the head office, Fortis Office Park as well as Kisumu, Eldoret, Karatina, Nyeri, Thika and Mombasa Moi Avenue branches.

The Kenyan solar rollout follows last year’s implementation of three similar projects by ADP at Ecobank in Cote d’Ivoire.

DPA continues to expand its operations in Kenya with completed projects by large power consumers such as Liquid Telkom’s data centre in Nairobi and Agha Khan Hospital Mombasa.

Kenya Power’s industrial customers, who account for about 54.8 percent of its sales revenues, are gradually shifting to own-generated solar power, dealing a further blow to its already dwindling finances.

Several companies, universities and factories have turned to solar photovoltaic grid-tied systems to supply power for internal use to ensure reliable supply and reduced operational costs.

Big power consumers such as Africa Logistics Properties, Mombasa International Airport, and the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (Icipe) have recently commissioned solar power units on their properties.