Developers of mini-grids in Sub-Saharan Africa have to deal with procurement and import of required hardware for mini-grids to be installed. The procurement process can be time consuming retrieving the most suitable components like batteries, inverters, solar panels and metering equipment for their systems. Also the volume is not always attractive for supplier or manufacturers to provide the best terms and conditions.
After making an inventory among multiple mini-grid developers in Sub Saharan Africa, together with the international project group, we have listed their main temptations, volumes, component brands and conditions. As there appeared to be significant differences, in conjunction with the developers we selected one main component as a pilot to elaborate the procurement on. A simple tendering process was following, which provided a clear insight of the market and opportunities for Bulk Procurement.
The consultancy project for Bulk Procurement for mini-grid in Sub Saharan Africa resulted in benefits for the joining developers by reduction of capital expenditures, easier process of ordering and more flexibility in delivery times. Also for the involved suppliers and manufacturers a clear economy of scale advantage created sustainable relationships.