Toyota Kenya, now known as CFAO Motors Limited Kenya, has acquired a 35% stake in commercial solar PV installation company Ofgen for an undisclosed sum. The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) confirmed its approval of the deal, noting that CFAO was driving increased investment in renewable energy in Kenya.
“OFGEN Limited, the target undertaking, is a company incorporated in Kenya. OFGEN is a solar energy company which provides services such as development, design, procurement, construction, operation, and maintenance of photovoltaic systems for commercial and industrial use,” the Authority disclosed.
Ofgen’s relationship with CFAO can be traced back to 2018 when it was hired to install a 490-panel roof-top solar plant at Toyota Kenya’s Mombasa Road headquarters. The plant, with a power capacity of 180kW and an annual energy production of 230,000 kWh was expected to save Toyota nearly Ksh17 million in electricity bills over a period of 20 years. It was further projected to reduce and reduce the company’s carbon footprint by 45 metric tonnes per year.
CFAO had highlighted the new Ofgen deal as evidence of its commitment to increasing the use of renewable energy in Kenya.
“CFAO Kenya has worked with OFGEN Limited since 2018 to solarize CFAO Group-owned premises within Kenya and Uganda. CFAO group will continue to leverage on OFGEN’s expertise in commercial solar PV installation to solarize all its business premises within the East African Region, in line with the Group carbon neutrality programme and commitment to 50% reduction in its CO2 emission by 2030. With this investment, CFAO group’s ambition is also to contribute to promoting initiatives towards expanding the use of renewable energy in Africa,” CFAO noted when the deal was first announced in July.
CFAO is among several organizations in Kenya that have sought to produce their own power, turning to solar to avoid blackouts and to lower electricity bills.
Examples of Commercial and industrial operations in Kenya which have gone big on solar include include Williamson Tea, which unveiled a 1MW solar farm in Changoi, stating it would slash its energy bills by a third. Kenya Breweries Limited expects to generate 9.3 Megawatts at its Ruaraka plant in Nairobi and 2.4 Megawatts from a solar plant in Kisumu while East African Maltings, on the other hand, plans to generate 2.2 Megawatts of electricity from a KVA generator at its Kampala Road plant. Others are Unilever Tea, Garden City Mall, Africa Logistics Properties (ALP) and London Distillers Ltd.
Toyota Tsusho, the trading arm of the Toyota Group, has been on a diversification spree that has seen renewable energy emerge as a key destination for investments, along with healthcare, retail and agri-business. Toyota Kenya, now CFAO Motors, was incorporated in 1997 as a subsidiary by Toyota Tsusho Corporation.
TTC in 2016 completed acquisition of 100% stake in CFAO, a French multinational dealing with mobility, consumers goods, energy and technology. TTC has since 2017 been integrating all African operations under CFAO, including Toyota Kenya.