• Burkina Faso has commissioned a solar panel production fab called Faso Energy with 30 MW annual capacity
  • It will roll out solar panels with 260W to over 330W power output with European equipment
  • The CFA 3 billion fab is the work of promoter El Hadj Moussa Koanda for which the government has provided tax incentives

The African nation of Burkina Faso has inaugurated its very 1st solar PV panel production facility with an annual output of 30 MW earning the distinction of West Africa’s ‘1st’ solar panel manufacturing plant. Called Faso Energy, the fab was launched by the country’s Prime Minister Christophe Joseph Marie Dabire last week.

The new fab is located in the industrial zoen of Kossodo district of Burkina Faso’s capital city Ouagadougou and will be rolling out 200 solar panels per day. As per the company’s website, with the help of ‘latest generation machines of European origin’ for its entire production chain, it will produce solar panels with 260W to over 330W power output using 5 busbar solar cell technology.

The first manufacturing line for the project was installed in August 2020. This fab will generate employment for the local populace with 170 direct jobs and 2,000 indirect jobs while encouraging solar PV installations in the country.

El Hadj Moussa Koanda is identified as the promotor of this project which was established for an investment of CFA 3 billion ($5.3 million). To set up this project, local media reports, the fab has received several tax exemptions as well as waive off of customs duties.

In July 2020, Teriak Industrial Group got Mondragon Assembly of Spain to install and commission a 100 MW solar PV module production line in Egypt (see 100 MW Solar PV Module Assembly Line In Egypt).

Recently, under the World Bank supported Power Sector Support Project (Pasel), the Government of Burkina Faso launched the construction of 2 solar power plants with 10 MW and 20 MW capacity through local presence of French energy giant Engie. The Ministry of Energy said the 10 MW project will come up in Kaya and 20 MW in Boulkiemdé in the  Koudougou city of Sanmatenga province. Both these projects were tendered by the National Electricity Company of Burkina Faso (Sonabel) in January 2019 (see 30 MW Solar Tender In Burkina Faso).

The presence of a local solar panel production facility will aid Burkina Faso’s efforts to increase its electricity generation capabilities and diversify the same. By the end of 2020, it aims to increase electricity access rate in the country from 20% to 80% and by 2025 it should go up to 95%, as per the USAID of the US government. The country’s cumulative installed renewable energy capacity till the end of 2019 reached 98 MW, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) with solar PV contributing an estimated 62 MW to it.