Solar energy for Myanmar hospital thanks to Borealis Social Fund and Quentys™
Photo: Construction works of the solar plant
The Borealis Social Fund was founded in 2008 to enhance the social welfare of the communities in which Borealis operates. It recently concluded an important project in an underdeveloped region of rural Myanmar. An important community hospital was equipped with solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in order to ensure the reliable supply of electricity, and thus better healthcare for local patients.
Working together with project initiator Bright Foundation, a Belgium-based non-profit organization dedicated to bringing green energy solutions to underdeveloped rural communities, project partners quickly identified an urgent need for action in the village of Kanni. Its location in central Myanmar is six to seven hours away by car from the nearest large city; it often experiences severe flooding during the monsoon season. Its small community hospital serves not only Kanni, but around 12 other rural villages, and is the sole source of emergency care for nearly 15,000 inhabitants in the region. For this reason, a reliable electricity supply is absolutely crucial. Until recently, however, like many facilities in such impoverished rural regions, the hospital operated off the grid, with emergency power provided only by a small and polluting diesel generator. A reliable energy supply was thus essential in order to enable hospital staff to provide proper care.
Over the course of 18 months, the Bright Foundation and the Borealis Social Fund worked with numerous cooperation partners to engineer a solution using PV modules based on the Borealis Quentys™ solar brand. A Borealis team based in China supervised the production of double glass modules. The project was able to win over an international logistics company as well as an important Myanmar energy group to provide additional assistance. The final phase of construction was made possible with the enthusiastic support provided by the Kanni villagers themselves, who will directly benefit from this new and clean source of steady electrical power.
“Bringing green electricity to remote rural areas like Kanni highlights the Borealis commitment to remaining a socially responsible company,” states Rudi Peters, Borealis Global Value Chain Manager Solar. “At the same time, this project is a clear example of how innovative polyolefin-based solutions like Quentys can add value to society and truly improve people’s lives.”
“Thanks to the efforts of all cooperation partners, the Kanni hospital finally has an electricity supply they can count on, 24/7, 365 days a year,” says Craig Halgreen, Borealis Director Sustainability & Public Affairs. “Outfitting just one hospital with reliable and cost-efficient access to electricity makes an enormous difference, whether in the working conditions of the hospital staff, or the health and wellbeing of so many local patients.”
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