One of the private sector partners in president Barack Obama’s Power Africa initiative, Symbion, has joined forces with turnkey power project group Jyoti Americas and Iroko Capital Partners, a Nigerian alternative asset manager and financial advisory firm, to establish Nigeria’s first full service transmission solutions company. This company is called Western Sahara Transmission Company.

Western Sahara will build Nigeria’s first transmission tower manufacturing facility with the capacity to produce 50,000 tonnes of galvanised steel lattice transmission towers per year that will displace the nation’s current reliance on expensive imports from other countries. The company will be engaged in the entire power delivery value chain (including design, engineering, tower testing, tower manufacturing and construction), and will be fully equipped to handle transmission and distribution projects of any scale.

Symbion deputy CEO, William Olukoya says, “Western Sahara is an indigenous company backed by experienced international players and will be primarily managed and staffed by Nigerians. Given the tremendous demand for power and the rapidly growing economy in Nigeria, it is essential that the country creates the local capacity to produce these towers and stay competitive in a demanding marketplace.”

Jyoti Americas CEO, Dr. Deepak Lakhapati says, “This will be Jyoti’s sixth tower manufacturing and power transmission solutions facility. Western Sahara will rely on Jyoti’s tower manufacturing and end-to-end transmission solutions know-how, and we will apply our joint expertize to the EPC part. We want Western Sahara to rapidly become Nigeria’s leading transmission solutions company. We believe our strategy will allow us to be competitive against international companies bidding for work in Nigeria.”

Olukoya says, “When Obama announced Power Africa during his visit to Tanzania last year, he said one goal would be to bring electricity to 20 million homes and businesses. Our new company will make a significant contribution to achieving this target by producing the towers and the lines that will literally light up millions of new consumers. Nigeria is a country of 170 million people and the largest economy on the continent, yet most people don’t have access to electricity. We hope to change that.”

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