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Ivory Coast to Build Africa’s First Biomass Power Plant

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Image: Construction Review Online

Development Finance Institution Proparco, along with the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), have closed a deal to finance the $197-million Biovea Energie Project in Ivory Coast.

The 46-MW Biovea Energie biomass plant will be the continent’s first large-scale biomass plant feeding into a national grid. Sponsored by Electricité De France (EDF), Meridiam and Biokala, the company known as Biovea Energie won a 25-year concession to design, build and operate the project.

The plant will include a substation and 350m transmission line providing connection to the national grid. Biomass for the plant will be supplied by agricultural waste, with approximately 450,000 tons of palm tree leaves and trunks being provided by palm plantation operator PalmCi, a subsidiary of SIFCA, accounting for 30% of the biomass required for the plant. The remaining 70% will be sourced from out-growers.

In accordance with its National Renewable Energy Action Plan for 2014-2030, Ivory Coast aims to increase its renewable energy generation to 42% by 2030. The plant will be capable of generating 336 GWh of renewable energy per year, enough to supply 1.7 million people with electricity for a year.

Once fully operational, the biomass power plant is expected to reduce CO2 emissions from the West African country by more than 4.5 million tons. The project is also expected to create 500 jobs during its construction, 1,000 jobs during operation and generate revenue for approximately 12,000 farmers, as well as create positive impacts for the country’s agricultural sector.

“Proparco is extremely proud to have accompanied EDF, Meridiam and SIFCA, three clients with which we have a long history of cooperation, in the development and blended financing of this project from the very beginning,” said Grégory Clemente, CEO of Proparco. “This project will contribute to job creation and revenue increase of households in rural areas as well as important CO2 emissions avoidance.”

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Matthew Goosen

Matthew Goosen

Matthew Goosen is a Video Editor and Content Writer at Energy Capital & Power. He holds an Honours Degree in Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town and is currently undergoing his Masters Degree. Born in Pretoria and raised internationally, he has been living in Cape Town since 2013.