Hilton builds its first modular hotel in Africa
Hilton Worldwide has marked this year’s African Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) with the announcement of new properties and extensions in three African countries. It continues the company’s commitment to expand across the continent as it seeks to double its footprint from its existing 39 hotels to more than 80 hotels in the next 3-5 years.
Among the new hotels agreed is Africa’s first modular build hotel, the 280 guest-room Hilton Garden Inn in the Ghanaian capital of Accra, a concept that Hilton first premiered in 2014 through a partnership with CIMC Modular Building Systems.
Other deals see the creation of Africa’s tallest hotel in Nairobi, while Hilton builds on its industry leading airport hotel legacy with an extension to the recently signed Legend Curio at Lagos Airport. Hilton will manage all three properties as it continues to expand its managed hotel portfolio.
Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice President Development, EMEA, Hilton Worldwide said, “Having been present in Africa for more than 50 years we’re proud to have remained at the forefront of pioneering hotel growth on the continent.
This year at AHIF we’re breaking new ground in the region with the announcement of our first modular build hotel, a fast-paced construction solution that we feel has huge potential in Africa, with quicker returns for investors and a world-class hospitality experience for guests.
“We remain hugely committed to Africa across our portfolio of world-class brands, continuing to introduce our hotels to new markets across the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa in the coming years.”
Modular construction is an innovative solution that can be used to drive hotel development, offering numerous benefits including faster development, streamlined design and cost efficiencies. The process involves assembling portions of the hotel - including guest rooms and hallways - in China, before transporting them to the final site for completion, thereby significantly reducing the time taken for construction. The model helps ensure consistent quality and accelerates the build schedule on site, a particular benefit for developers and investors in emerging markets.
Hilton Garden Inn Accra Liberation Road
The hotel is being developed under a management agreement with Independence Properties Ltd, whose majority shareholder is Trasacco Estates Development Company Ltd. With a planned opening in 2018, this will be the first Hilton Garden Inn in Ghana.
Ian Morris, Director Independence Properties and CEO Trasacco Estates Development Company said: "After building a number of three star plus properties in West Africa the option to go modular and improve on room quality, project delivery and minimise construction risk was warmly embraced by our development, design and construction teams and we feel is the future of the industry."
Paul Blackmore, Managing Director CIMC MBS, said: “We are very proud of the continued association between Hilton and CIMC, with Hilton Garden Inn being an excellent brand for utilising our modular technology. In Independence Properties we have another great partner focussed on a high-quality product. Africa is a key strategic focus for CIMC, where our solutions can minimise risk on site while protecting and improving owner returns.”
Located on Liberation Road, the main connection between Ghana’s capital and its major international airport, the hotel will feature three restaurants and amenities offered at each Hilton Garden Inn location, including complimentary high speed Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, 24-hour business and fitness centers, alongside four adjustable meeting rooms and a 450sqm ballroom.
Hilton Nairobi Upper Hill, Kenya (255 guest rooms)
A management agreement with Jabavu Village Ltd and White Lotus Projects sees Hilton expand on its existing presence in Kenya to create Africa’s tallest building. Standing 330m high, Hilton Nairobi Upper Hill is due to open in 2020 as a 255 guest-room and suite hotel in Kenya’s capital. It will offer multiple food and beverage outlets, including a relaxing poolside bar, speciality smokehouse and grill restaurant, lobby dining area with landscaped deck and a boutique rooftop bar with unbeatable vista views of the Nairobi skyline on the 43rd level.
Finally, having previously announced the signing of Curio, The Legend, Lagos Airport, Hilton has also confirmed that an additional 76 guest rooms will be added to the hotel bringing the room count up to 130-keys and further strengthening its expansion in the country. The hotel, due to open during 2017 will be the first within the airport environment giving guests and airline passengers alike unrivalled ease of access to the airports’ facilities.
Read the October 2016 issue of Construction Global magazine
Masdar, PT PLN begin work on floating PV solar project
UAE-based renewable energy company Masdar, in partnership with PT PLN, an organisation specialising in electrical power and owned by the Indonesian government, has announced today it has started work on a floating photovoltaic (PV) solar project in West Java. The company says the 145MW plant is the first of its kind in the country. The project, which will be constructed on the Cirata reservoir in West Java, was financed by the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Societe Generale, and Standard Chartered Bank.
Developing the project is PT Pembangkitan Jawa Bali Masdar Solar Energi (PMSE), a joint venture between Masdar and PT PLN subsidiary PT PJBI. Bahlil Lahadalia, Minister of Investment for the Republic of Indonesia and chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, said: “This is a flagship project of the UAE’s investment in Indonesia, and most importantly, it is in line with the Indonesian Government’s target to increase renewable energy by 23% by 2025.”
Ladhadalia added: “The Ministry of Investment fully supports the investment realisation of the Cirata Floating Solar Project by PT PJBI and Masdar.” The plant is said to be the largest in south-east Asia, and one of the biggest in the world. Around 800 jobs will be created during its construction phase.
During the project’s development, Masdar has conducted several social initiatives to raise awareness of sustainability and strengthen the engagement of the local community. Talking about the partnership with Masdar, Amir Faisal, president director of PJBI, said: “We see tremendous potential for similar projects in Indonesia and we look forward to continuing our fruitful collaboration with Masdar to work on more renewable energy projects and help our nation achieve its clean energy objectives.
“This floating power project is a first for Indonesia and is also a significant step in PJBI’s renewable energy journey,” he added.
Facts about solar energy
- Solar power is the most abundant energy source on earth: There’s enough solar energy reaching the earth every hour to meet all of humanity’s power needs for a whole year.
- The cost of solar panels has fallen by 99% since 1977: The price per watt for a single solar cell in 1977 was US$77. Today that same cell costs Us$0.21 per watt US$0.39 per watt for an assembled module, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
- China is the global leader in solar energy: Whilst solar power is increasing in popularity in the US, China is currently the country with the biggest uptake. Research conducted by GTM in 2017 predicted that the US would install 12.4GW of solar power during that year. China, on the other hand, installed 24.4GW of power in the first half of 2017 alone.