- African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) as acquired a significant stake in Sodigaz, an LPG distributor based in Burkina Faso and Benin, through AIIM’s flagship pan-African infrastructure fund, AIIF3.
Sodigaz – and its Benin subsidiary Progaz – distribute LPG cylinders to households to replace higher carbon fuel sources in cooking. Sodigaz holds a solid market share in Burkina Faso, leveraging its strong network of over 2,200 resellers to ensure excellent coverage of the main cities and provinces of Burkina Faso. Launched in 2019, Progaz owns a filling centre, and currently manages one service station (a second one to be open by the end of 2021) and a fast-growing reseller network.
As part of Sodigaz’s commitment to the energy transition, the company also operates a growing solar energy business, supplying domestic and industrial solutions, as well as a range of plug-and-play kits distributed through its wide reseller network.
The transition to lower-emission fuels has been slow in sub-Saharan Africa – according to the IEA, only 17% of the population have access to clean cooking in Burkina Faso, and less than 6% in Benin. A large proportion of African households continue to rely heavily on wood, charcoal, kerosene and paraffin as their main sources of energy. The use of these fuels contributes to almost 490,000 premature deaths per year due to the air pollution these fuels emit, with women and children the worst affected.
As well as providing a cleaner, healthier fuel source, LPG also reduces reliance on wood, thereby tackling deforestation.
Lala Bolly, CEO of Sodigaz Group, commented: “AIIM’s entry into the capital of Sodigaz marks a new era of impetus for the Group’s sub-regional expansion and positioning in the development of gas and solar energy infrastructure in West Africa. We are very excited to enter into this partnership, in order to successfully implement these new projects that will allow Sodigaz to further pursue its mission of promoting broad access to gas and solar energy for the population, contributing to the preservation of the environment and to the acceleration of sustainable development in the countries where we operate.”
Author: Bryan Groenendaal