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FosRich partners with Huawei on solar products

Cecil Foster, CEO of FosRich Company Limited.

Energy products distributor FosRich Company Limited has struck a deal with Chinese technology company Huawei to sell its photovoltaic, or PV, solutions in the Jamaican alternative energy marketplace.

Fosrich CEO Cecil Foster says the agreement gives it exclusive right to distribute and install PV solutions, otherwise called solar systems, in the local market, inclusive of inverters to convert solar generated power for regular use; digital switches and panels, monitoring devices and lithium-ion batteries for power storage.

“Huawei is partnering with us through their brand Fusion Solar to bring photovoltaic power products and panels to the local market. We’ll be able to do large scale industrial and governmental operations, Foster told the Financial Gleaner.

“That means we can cover from the factory to the office and the home,” he said following the announcement of the distribution arrangement on Thursday on the final day of the Jamaica Stock Exchange 16th Regional Investments and Capital Markets Conference in New Kingston.

Director of Enterprise Business Group for Huawei Northern and Western Caribbean, Courtney Hamilton, said the company had been on the lookout for a distributor with clout in the Jamaican market, and says the arrangement positions the Chinese company to expand its footprint. The company is already in the Caribbean supplying telephone equipment and cellular infrastructure.

“As world leaders in the photovoltaic power generation space, we want to supply the entire ecosystem for solar power, except the panels which we currently don’t do. What we’re supplying will make sure that customers will have a totally digital solar plant,” Hamilton said.

Jamaica’s alternative energy market continues to evolve, with both wind and solar systems. The market is estimated at over $4 billion, energy sources say, with solar systems being more ubiquitous, having been adopted by both households and industrial users as a cheaper source of energy over supplies of electricity from the national grid.

The inverters to be supplied by FosRich will range from small 3-kilowatt units for household use to 100 kW units for commercial applications, according to Hamilton. He said the partnership would start out small then scale up as business grows.

“The original investment for inventory is about $15 million, but we expect that to grow exponentially as the market responds and the relationship grows,” he said.

Solar technology has got cheaper over the years, but Foster says has no plan to compete at the low-end against easily procurable solar panels. His sights are on building contractors and clients of that nature.

“What we are committing to do is deliver premium quality products at lower, competitive prices. FosRich distributing for Huawei is better and much different from someone buying off the Internet. We want that growing market out there to come to us,” he said.

FosRich has been in business for more than 25 years, and is now turning over annual revenue of more than $1.8 billion. The junior stock market company supplies lighting and power equipment for home and commercial use, but in recent years it has ventured into the manufacturing of PVC pipes and conduits, as well as the repair of power transformers on behalf of starter client Jamaica Public Service Company.

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