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Michael Chapnick
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USTDA GRANT PROMOTES CLEAN ENERGY IN NIGERIA

LAGOS, NIGERIA (February 1, 2010) – A USTDA grant was awarded today to IHS Nigeria, PLC, a Nigerian telecommunications infrastructure company, to support the deployment of solar power systems at the company's tower sites throughout Nigeria. The grant will benefit IHS Nigeria by assessing alternative energy solutions aimed at reducing the use of diesel generators. The grant will also support U.S. jobs by arranging a visit to the U.S. for IHS Nigeria decision makers to meet with U.S. sources of supply.

In a signing ceremony at the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos, Nigeria, U.S. Ambassador Robin Sanders conferred the $162,000 technical assistance grant to IHS Nigeria’s Managing Director, William Saad. Ambassador Sanders described IHS Nigeria's interest in deploying solar power and other alternative energy solutions at its tower sites.

"The USTDA-funded technical assistance program will assist IHS Nigeria in its efforts to evaluate energy alternatives, develop performance specifications, and visit the United States to meet with U.S. companies offering renewable energy solutions," said Ambassador Sanders after she signed the grant on behalf of the United States.

"The grant will help IHS Nigeria attract a U.S. company to establish a pilot demonstration at one of IHS Nigeria's tower sites," continued the Ambassador. "The project will verify viability and cost savings, and develop an implementation plan for scaling up the solution to a larger number of IHS' tower sites."

IHS Nigeria operates approximately 2,500 cellular communications towers in sub-Saharan Africa. It leases tower space to clients and manages tower infrastructure on its clients’ behalf. In order to guarantee their customers adequate, uninterrupted power, IHS powers all of its sites with diesel generators. Sites must be refueled on a weekly basis, resulting in significant costs and exposing IHS Nigeria to market fluctuations in the price of diesel fuel, making cost management and financial forecasting extremely difficult.

The opportunity to conduct the USTDA-funded technical assistance for IHS Nigeria will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website. A link to the FBO announcement will be posted to USTDA’s website at www.ustda.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the FBO announcement. IHS Nigeria will select the U.S. contractor that will complete the study.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA’s strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.

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