RFP: Energy Services Firm for the Design, Build (Implementation) and Operation of mini-grids, Ethiopia

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now and for the future.

Mercy Corps Ethiopia exists to alleviate suffering and poverty by helping people build secure, productive, and sustainable livelihoods. Since 2004, we have worked in rural, peri-urban and urban areas in five regional states - Somali, Oromia, Afar, Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples, Amahara, and the capital city, Addis Ababa. Our mission is to foster populations that are financially stable, healthy and nourished, and educated and informed, within a context where natural resources are accessed, shared and utilized sustainably, so people can lead productive livelihoods. Driven by local needs, our programs provide individuals, agencies and businesses with the tools and support they need to transform their lives, businesses, and communities. Our partners include government, academic institutions, development and private sector actors, civil societies and participating public. We strive to strengthen all of these institutions in the hopes that one day they become self-reliant.

Powering infrastructure in relief settings, where clinics, offices, communications towers, water pumping stations and other necessary services are commonly fueled by diesel generators, represents a substantial economic burden for humanitarian agencies & for the businesses and households located in refugee settlements and host communities.

Mercy Corps in partnership with Shell under Shell’s Enter Energy project is exploring the feasibility of deploying clean and commercially sustainable energy services in displacement settings to contribute to UNHCR’s Clean Energy Challenge. The strategic objective is to develop a replicable, market-based model to provide clean, sustainable, reliable and affordable energy services for refugee camps.

In line with the above goal, in 2019, Mercy Corps commissioned a technical study on electrical loads and cooking patterns in the refugee camps around Jigjiga to provide a detailed understanding of the existing energy demand and supply options. The study targeted both households and institutions in Kebribeyah, Aw Barre and Sheder camps around Jijiga, Somali Region. A study on the legal, regulatory and operational frameworks for the operation of off-grid energy services is currently underway. The goal is to improve operational sustainability for humanitarian organizations while enabling better service delivery for people living in refugee settlements and host communities. Mercy Corps will undertake this effort in collaboration with private sector actors to ensure the sustainability of the business model proposed and with the aim to reach scale for access to energy in displacement settings for all segments of the population.

Mercy Corps, therefore, seeks to partner with an experienced private sector off-grid energy service company under a Design, Build and Operate model to:

  1. Design: develop a binding proposal - feasibility study and design of viable technical solutions
  2. Build (EPC): implement mini-grid solution
  3. Operate: contribution to design of business model and set up of micro utility  

The implementation phase of the project in the Jijiga area of the Somali region of Ethiopia is contingent on the results of the binding proposal stage with the selected partner and funding availability. The partner shall perform among other the following tasks as part of the feasibility and implementation of the mini-grids.

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