Private Utilities and Poverty Alleviation

Private Utilities and Poverty Alleviation

Market Initiatives at the Base of the Pyramid

Edited by Patricia Márquez and Carlos Rufín

Drawing on cases from electricity distribution and other infrastructure industries, and from experiences spanning Asia, Africa and Latin America, this book examines new business models to bring basic utility services to the four billion people comprising the base of the socio-economic pyramid.

Chapter 9: A Utility’s Perspective on Assisting BOP Communities: The AES Corporation’s Experience

Scarlett Álvarez and Francisco Morandi

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, industrial economics, public sector economics

Extract

Scarlett Álvarez and Francisco Morandi AES Corporation is a Fortune 500 US-based global power company. Through a diverse portfolio of thermal and renewable fuel sources, AES safely provides affordable and sustainable energy in 29 countries. Its workforce of 25 000 people is committed to operational excellence and meeting the world’s changing power needs. In the more than 25 years it has been in business, AES has contributed to the development process of several countries by generating and distributing power. The company has been at the forefront of world changes and trends, demonstrating a commitment to the welfare and quality of life of local communities. AES began operations in Latin America in 1993, and by 2009 had a presence in seven countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Dominican Republic and Panama), an installed capacity of 11 345 MW, approximately 9600 employees, and served more than 8.5 million customers across the region. AES has developed relations with local communities in accordance with its overall vision of social commitment, which means aligning its efforts with the particular realities of each community, sharing responsibilities and seeking comprehensive solutions. Latin America and the Caribbean’s diversity of climates, cultures and social classes, in addition to the different types of AES businesses (generation, distribution and utilities) in the region, has motivated the company to create a variety of social programs tailored to specific local needs. One such program was designed in 2003 to help the large segment of the region’s population that can be considered low-income,...

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