Leading UK renewable energy firm and solar refrigeration pioneer, Dulas, has announced that it has launched a joint venture with Indian solar company, Sunintown, to supply its solar powered refrigerators across the Indian Sub-continent.The agreement will see Sunintown utilise its size and scale as a solar developer to provide market access for Dulas to deploy its solar powered refrigerators. Sunintown will also act as a consultant on the ground to ensure that supporting infrastructure is established before any cold chain logistics are put in place.
As India transitions away from current global vaccine alliance (GAVI) support in 2017, with the aim of self-funding its own domestic vaccination programme by 2021, there is an urgent need for cold chain storage solutions for medicines and antibiotics across the continent. According to figures from GAVI, India still sees an infant mortality rate of 38/1000. GAVI’s Global Vaccine Action Plan, launched in 2011, is aiming to provide 90% vaccine coverage in territories where vaccination needs are currently unmet by 2020. The organisation’s ‘Decade of Vaccines’ scheme will seek not only to increase funding for immunization programmes, but also encourage new methods of resource mobilisation and partnership.
Having pioneered solar powered fridges over 30 years ago, Dulas products enable vaccines, blood and pharmaceuticals to be safely stored in remote, off-grid locations, supporting health and vaccination programmes throughout the developing world. Dulas solar-powered vaccine refrigerators are available in a range of battery, direct drive, and ice-lined models, providing a versatile cold chain storage option for medical centres and vaccination programmes.In addition to supplying its refrigerators to the Indian market, Dulas and Sunintown will also provide training, installation and maintenance to support their use.
“We see partnering with Sunintown as the next step towards fully supporting India’s independent vaccination programme over the next decade,” said Guy Watson, Head of International Operations, Dulas.“With the demand for cold chain storage and logistics likely to soar over the coming years throughout India, we see Dulas as playing a key role in assisting the country meet its vaccination targets.”“Working with Sunintown – a respected and well-established domestic firm – will mean that we have a local partner not only to work with us in the supply of our refrigerators, but also to ensure that the conditions are right on the ground.”
Sheshnag Chitlur, Business Development Manager, Sunintown, commented: “With the move in India to rapidly increase the use of solar technology, coupled with the rising demand for vaccines, there is a market need for energy independent quality cold chain equipment.”
“Dulas has a thirty-year track record supplying solar powered refrigerators for vaccine programmes worldwide, and we look forward to becoming a key partner in the Indian market.” Dulas and Sunintown expect to deploy the first solar powered refrigerators under the agreement in June 2016. The joint venture will eventually aim to supply 10% of the Indian solar cold chain market.