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General News of Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Source: Western Mail

Solar-powered fridges for health ministry

Welsh RENEWABLE-ENERGY company Dulas has secured a major new order from Ghana?s health ministry for its solar-powered vaccine fridges.

The deal for the Machynlleth- based firm comes after promoting its vaccine fridge at the MedicAfrica exhibition in Lusaka, Zambia, two years ago.

Since the event two years ago Dulas representatives have stepped-up their efforts to secure orders in the region, most recently with an export visit to Ghana supported by the Assembly?s overseas trade arm International Business Wales (IBW).

It has resulted in an order for 30 vaccine fridges from the Ghanaian government, with the prospect of significant further orders in the next few years following their specification in the tender.

Dulas?s solar-powered fridges are used to store blood and vaccines, often holding more than ?200,000 worth of vaccines.

Solar-powered vaccine refrigerators and other solar-powered items of medical equipment have been important specialisations for Dulas since 1985, the firm being one of a handful of companies world-wide to qualify as approved solar system suppliers to the World Health Organisation and Unicef.

Dulas solar medical installations cover a wide range of solar power applications, including ice pack freezers for vaccine transportation, operating theatre and general lighting, ceiling and desk fans, medical centrifuges, water pumps and purifiers (from deep borehole to floating surface pumps), and integrated generating systems providing electricity for singular appliances or entire hospitals.

It has equipped many remote hospitals and clinics in Africa, Asia and Latin America with solar medical equipment.

Ms Draisey added, ?We have had one of the company?s busiest years in respect to fridge production and water supply, fuelled by increasing worldwide demand.

Over the last two years the company?s turnover has increased from ?4m to ?7m.

Minister for the Economy and Transport Ieuan Wyn-Jones said, ?The Assembly has been delighted to support the company?s efforts in Africa and this recent export success justifies the hard work of the company and our officials that have been involved in the process.

?We should also be very proud that innovative technology developed here in Wales will play such an important role in saving lives in poorer nations.?