Ambassador’s Robert YAMATE’s Remarks

Ceremonial Signing of Fluidic-Henri Fraise-USTDA Agreement

 

September 14, 2017,
Ministry of Water, Energy, and Hydrocarbons

His Excellency the Minister of Water, Energy, and Hydrocarbons;
The Vice President of Henri Fraise Fils & Cie;
The Regional Vice President of Fluidic Energy;
Honored guests and members of government;
Ladies and Gentlemen. 

On behalf of the United States Embassy, I am so very happy to be here today to highlight and celebrate a partnership that will help advance Madagascar’s development in the energy sector.  This agreement will also show the strong commercial cooperation between the United States and Madagascar, and it’s potential for helping both our countries.

As you know, across Madagascar and Sub-Saharan Africa, there is significant need to generate new power, to improve the transmission and distribution of existing power, and to bring new power sources online.

We all know the economic value of reliable energy systems, which became an even bigger focus for the U.S. government with the launch of the Power Africa initiative nearly four years ago.   Power Africa seeks to add 30,000 megawatts and 60 million connections by 2030.

These goals are ambitious but achievable.  Power Africa expects that between 18,000 and 21,000 MW of that will be energy from newer, cleaner sources.  This includes 6,500 MW from deals that have already been closed.

The partnership that we are celebrating today was funded by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (or “USTDA”).  USTDA is the U.S. Government’s international project preparation agency.  It uses a variety of tools, including feasibility studies and technical assistance, to provide the comprehensive analysis required to bring infrastructure projects from concept to financing to implementation.

These project planning and partnership building activities support the development of sustainable infrastructure across Africa.  This infrastructure – including clean energy, telecommunications and transportation – forms the bedrock of sustainable economies and facilitates local, regional and global trade.  And by connecting our African partners to U.S. companies, USTDA activities help them build mutually beneficial, long-term business relationships.

Since the launch of Power Africa, USTDA has expanded its energy portfolio in Africa by over 800 percent.  In support of this initiative, USTDA has funded over 70 activities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Together, these projects have the potential to provide more than 1,600 MW of new generation and provide power to an estimated 3.1 million homes and businesses. These projects will also support export opportunities for U.S. companies.

The USTDA grant we are signing today is helping to fund a technical and economic study of solar photovoltaic powered minigrids with integrated battery storage technology at up to 100 sites in Madagascar, as well as a pilot to demonstrate the proposed minigrid solution in the village of Belobaka.  This project is a good example of how USTDA and the U.S. Government is helping support U.S. technology innovation and solutions in Madagascar.

I also want to note the important role of the private sector in helping to develop Madagascar’s energy sector.  Local Malagasy companies, international firms, and entrepreneurs have recognized the challenges and opportunities presented by the country’s power needs.

Henri Fraise and Fluidic are shining examples of firms that are leading the way in Madagascar’s power sector.  Their private sector-led minigrid projects will help to deliver new power for Malagasy households and businesses.   

Implementation of the project at Malagasy sites is expected to result in the installation of up to 10 megawatts of solar power generation and 88.1 megawatt hours of battery storage capacity, which would electrify more than 27,000 households and businesses in Madagascar. 

All of us believe that the United States and Madagascar have much to gain from strengthening commercial ties.  USTDA, Power Africa, and the U.S. Embassy are proud to support partnerships and projects that do just that.

We believe U.S. companies can offer technical solutions, expertise, know-how, and resources that can help Madagascar address its energy needs.  We look forward to helping foster relationships between the U.S. and Malagasy private sectors for our mutual benefit.

I look forward to seeing progress on this important project that we are formally kicking off today with this grant signing.  Thank you.