KENYA —The ARCH Cold Chain Solutions Fund has officially inaugurated its cutting-edge cold storage facility, Cold Solutions Kenya, situated in the Tatu City Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Nairobi, Kenya.

This landmark facility is a trailblazing initiative and the first of its kind on the continent, specifically engineered to meet the exacting demands of pharmaceutical cold chain storage and distribution.

Securing a substantial funding injection of US$81 million, the ARCH Cold Chain Solutions Fund garnered significant support, including a noteworthy contribution of US$15 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

This financial backing underscores the facility’s strategic importance in reshaping cold storage and temperature-controlled solutions, particularly within the healthcare sector.

In the context of Africa, where over 640 million people, as reported by the African Development Bank (AfDB), lack access to electricity, maintaining consistent cold temperatures presents a formidable challenge.

This challenge has ripple effects, leading to improper handling and wastage of critical medical supplies, including blood and pharmaceuticals, in health centers without adequate refrigeration.

The implications of these losses extend beyond economic consequences, with far-reaching social and environmental impacts.

The healthcare sector in several African countries has grappled with the repercussions of insufficient cold storage infrastructure, particularly in the administration of life-saving COVID-19 vaccines.

The stringent temperature requirements for vaccine storage and distribution have posed significant challenges in regions where reliable cold chain solutions are lacking.

Spanning an expansive 17,700 square meters, Cold Solutions Kenya positions itself as a holistic solution provider across various sectors, with a keen focus on pharmaceuticals.

Boasting a capacity to accommodate up to 18,000 pallets, equivalent to 18,000 tonnes of pharmaceuticals and other temperature-sensitive goods at full capacity, the facility aims to play a pivotal role in enhancing the efficiency of the region’s perishable goods logistics.

A standout feature of the facility is its unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability.

Constructed to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Standard, the facility aspires to achieve LEED Gold Certification, marking a historic milestone as the first facility in Africa to receive such recognition.

Furthermore, the facility aims to derive up to 30% of its energy needs from off-grid renewable power production, primarily through the use of solar photovoltaic technology, aligning with global efforts to minimize climate impacts.

Beyond its regional significance, the facility has its sights set on both export and import markets in the Eastern African region.

It boasts a sophisticated logistics system designed to monitor and trace pharmaceutical products from their origin to their final destination.

This level of accountability and transparency is especially crucial in the pharmaceutical supply chain, where the integrity of temperature-sensitive products is paramount.

As pharmaceutical supply chains evolve in complexity, especially with the global distribution of temperature-sensitive products such as cell and gene therapies, the demand for advanced cold-chain pharmaceutical logistics companies is on the rise.

Fredd Kambo, the Managing Director and Co-Head of ARCH Cold Chain Solutions East Africa Fund underscored the facility’s commitment to impactful contributions to healthcare logistics, including ensuring food safety and reducing waste.

The strategic expansion plan includes key cities such as Mombasa, Kigali, Dar es Salaam, Addis Ababa, and Kampala, to reach a combined cold storage capacity of 100,000 tonnes across these locations.

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