Due to a rise in the demand for engines to power ships, and locomotives, and generate electricity from renewable sources, Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc is opening its first office in East Africa.
John Kelly, the company’s president for the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa, believes there is a strong case for the UK engineering firm to open an office in the area. He said on the sidelines of an energy conference in Nairobi that East African countries like Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania have a population of more than 174 million people and an economic growth rate of 6.5%.
According to him, business in East Africa could be as successful as it has been for Rolls-Royce in Nigeria, the continent’s largest economy, where its market share has doubled in the previous three years.
“It’s important for us to be in Africa, to understand Africa, and to make sure that we optimize our solutions and offerings for the market and its requirements,” Kelly said.
He stated without providing more information that the company is in discussions with Kenya Railways Corp. about powering locomotives. Additionally, it will concentrate on naval solutions and the electricity needs for data centers, a developing market in Kenya estimated to be worth $100 million over the following three years, the expert said.
Because it has ready access to raw materials like water for green hydrogen, East Africa is “perfect” for the production of sustainable fuels. He said that these fuels, which include hydrotreated vegetable oils, are compatible with Rolls-Royce engines.
Kenya already generates 80% of its energy from renewable resources like wind and geothermal. According to Kelly, it is taking into consideration nuclear generation, which Rolls-Royce views as an essential part of providing the world’s energy.
“We want to be front and center in terms of providing those power solutions, both on the land, in terms of energy requirements, and in the air, in terms of aviation,” Kelly said.
In addition to having offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa, Rolls-Royce also has a local representative in Nigeria and a presence in the mining sector in Zambia.
Supplementary sources: Bloomberg