FosRich to bid for third phase of National Street Lighting Replacement Project

BY DURRANT PATE
Observer business reporter

Friday, August 16, 2019

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One of Jamaica's premier lighting company, FosRich, is signalling its intention to place a bid for the supply of SMART LED lighting for the third and final phase of the National Street Lighting Replacement Project, estimated to cost between US$20-US$30 million.

The National Street Lighting Replacement Project involves the changing out of some 110,000 High Intensity Discharge (HID) street lamps to the energy-saving smart LED lamps. This changing out is expected to result in significant savings on the government's monthly bill on street lighting.

FosRich Managing Director, Cecil Foster, who made the disclosure during an interview with The Caribbean Business Report pointed out that as soon as the request for proposal is out, FosRich will be putting in its bid with Phillips Lighting. Phillips is the holder of the smart LED technology while FosRich is its local distributor.

FosRich along with Phillips were successful in the bid for phase 1, supplying 25,000 smart LED lamps and 20,000 smart LED lamps in phase 2 of the project. FosRich, which is involved in the distribution of lighting, electrical and solar energy products was paid in the region of US$15 million for the supply of smart LED lamps during phase 1 and 2 of the project.

The third phase, which is the largest, sees the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) changing out upwards of 70,000 street lights. This phase will be rolled out later this year and will continue through to next year. The initiative is one of Jamaica's largest energy efficiency projects.

Commenting on the National Street Lighting Replacement Project, Foster described it as, “a great programme because the government is saving a lot of money changing out from HID lamps to the energy- saving SMART LED lamps, which saves you up to 80% of consumption, so as you can see the government has been able to pay JPS because they are reaping the benefits of using the LED technology.”

SMART LED LAMPS CAN TRACK ACTIVITIES

According to Foster, “the streets light are not just street lights but they are filled with technology beyond what you can even understand. I will not tell you all the technology included in there but the lights are all connected to satellites and can track a number of activities around where they are located.”

Already, smart LED lamps have been installed in New Kingston, which is being positioned as one of the first smart cities in the Caribbean. Other technologies have been deployed in the area to achieve the smart city objective.

FINANCIALS

In its 2018 financial report, which was approved by shareholders at FosRich's Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, the company made after-tax profit of$90 million, an increase of 64 per cent, coming from $55 million in 2017. Revenues increased by 24 per cent to $1.293 billion from $1.046 billion in 2017.

The increase in revenue can be attributed to several reasons, two of which are, access to additional funding and growth of the industrial segment of the business. While the company's inventory levels were constrained in the past by tight financing, access to additional financing in 2018 has aided in the expansion of the inventory levels, which assisted significantly in meeting the needs of a growing customer base.

FosRich continues to deepen its relationship with its overseas supplier partners such as Philips, Nexans, Siemens and General Electric, who continue to supply first-world quality and widely used products to the Jamaican market.

FosRich GOING INTO MANUFACTURING

As FosRich celebrate 25 years of operation in 2019, the company will be embarking into manufacturing this year.

The equipment, which will form the basis of its foray in manufacturing is currently on location and will be commissioned in short order. This business is projected to significantly boost revenues in the coming months.


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