Royal Philips Electronics is to participate in a joint venture to set up a manufacturing facility, as well as a recycling plant, for energy saving Compact Fluorescent Lamp integrated (CFLi) light bulbs in Lesotho, Southern Africa.
The facility will be set up jointly with CEF, a private company held by the State of South Africa that focuses on opportunities in the energy sector in the region, and Karebo Systems, a privately owned company specialised in energy efficiency programs in the lighting and energy sectors.
Philips holds a 40 per cent stake in the joint venture, while CEF and Karebo Systems each hold a 30 per cent share.
The joint venture is a result of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s mission to develop new businesses that will fuel economic growth in the region.
The market for CFLi energy-saving bulbs is growing rapidly globally and is expected to accelerate in the South African region through the efforts of the national government to significantly reduce energy consumption. Its intention is to replace 80 per cent of incandescent bulbs with CFLi energy-saving bulbs within the next four to six years.
However, Philips expects to reduce this timeframe to approximately three years with the establishment of the Lesotho production facility. CFLi light bulbs save 80 per cent of the energy of incandescent bulbs and will help overcome energy shortages now experienced in the region.
The production facility in Lesotho will be run by local management, and will be opened in September 2008. The facility is scheduled to produce up to15 million CFLi lamps per year.
The joint venture will initially start with the assembly of CFLi lamps, followed by the production of burners for CFLi lamps and the establishment of the recycling plant.