Sojitz Receives Contract to Research Distributed Smart Infrastructure Implementation
– Improving Quality of Life through Rural Electrification –
Nov. 20, 2020
Sojitz Corporation (“Sojitz”) has been awarded a contract from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) to conduct business feasibility studies for expanding high-quality energy infrastructures overseas, specifically to establish a master plan for introducing distributed smart infrastructure in the ASEAN region in areas and on islands with unreliable or no electrification, and to investigate expanding this smart infrastructure to other countries and regions.
These feasibility studies for rural electrification targeting the ASEAN region and other developing countries will make use of Japanese business expertise to study the possibility of installing microgrid systems that combine multiple kinds of distributed energy, such as renewable energy and energy storage from batteries, as well as smart meters and other remote management systems. At the same time, these studies will also investigate feasibility of establishing digital communication networks and then providing services to raise living standards using these digital infrastructures.
In Myanmar, the average national electrification rate is approximately 50%. Areas scattered throughout the country have unreliable or no electrification, and the country’s islands have electrification rates below the national average. Sojitz will investigate the possibility of utilizing power from telecommunication towers in these regions as part of distributed energy generation for smart infrastructure.
The electricity required to power telecom towers is now anticipated to become a distributed energy resource. Last November, Sojitz acquired a stake in edotco Myanmar*, a telecom tower service company that is beginning to supply power via its towers for schools and for refrigeration of vaccines.
For these feasibility studies, Sojitz will work together with edotco Myanmar to supply target regions with telecom services and power, introduce remote learning and telemedicine, create new small and mid-sized businesses for fresh food product sales and poultry, and install FinTech services including electronic payment systems. In order to greatly improve quality of life through such advances, Sojitz will demonstrate the necessary solutions to build smart communities, as well as to establish a master plan for smart infrastructure, which it then aims to apply in other countries and regions.
Sojitz will construct a model for introducing smart communities centered on telecom towers and encourage participation by other Japanese companies as it aims to expand smart communities throughout the ASEAN region.
* “Sojitz Enters Telecommunication Infrastructure Business in Myanmar.” Sojitz Corp. Press Release, 15 Nov. 2019.