Reference: 2020 EOI 002
Beneficiary countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda
Published on: 03-Dec-2020
Deadline on: 15-Jan-2021 23:59 (GMT 1.00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris


Purpose of this document

UNHCR seeks qualified companies for the provision of solar electricity as a service. The purpose of the present Expression of Interest (EOI) is to:

a.      Obtain information on the experience, expertise, capability and financial resources of interested companies/consortia; and

b.      Establish a shortlist of pre-qualified bidders for the next tender stage.

This tender will be run as a two-stage process and this first EOI stage will be followed by a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the pre-qualified bidders, which is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2021.

Project background

UNHCR is committed to improve its environmental performance, climate compatibility and resource efficiency by reducing its use of fossil fuels, purchasing green energy from reliable suppliers and undertaking other sustainability initiatives. However, the upfront investment needed to support such a transition to clean energy and sustainable infrastructure can be significant and for UNHCR to provide this, it would compete for limited resources with humanitarian priorities.

UNHCR’s compounds, premises, and offices generate greenhouse gas emissions amounting to an estimated 97,136 tons of CO2 annually. One major source of emissions is linked to the fact that UNHCR runs diesel generators, particularly in large field compounds in ‘deep field’ Africa operations. Converting these compounds to solar energy could have both a positive carbon impact and a positive financial impact, since solar energy is expected to be cheaper than existing diesel/fossil fuel generation in many geographies.

The compounds considered for solarization under this tender generally comprise offices hosting UNHCR’s administrative, support and management services and, in certain locations, accommodation hosting UNHCR staff and/or partner organizations’ premises. Although adjacent to or located near the operational sites managed by UNHCR, compounds are distinct from the actual sites hosting refugee communities.

In close collaboration with the German Cooperation (GIZ), UNHCR has conducted feasibility analysis on a first set of potential sites and has commenced legal and technical work with legal advisors and specialized consultants to prepare for a first round of competitive procurement of electricity from private sector independent power producers (IPPs).

Over the course of 2020, with support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation (Sida), UNHCR has designed and operationalized the internal governance and technical procedures for operating an internal “Green Fund”. It is envisioned that the first use of the Green Fund will be to convert diesel-powered Africa operations to solar power.