Proparco, a subsidiary of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) group dedicated to the private sector, and Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) signed on June 10, in the presence of Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs , the financing and subsidy agreements necessary for the construction of the first biomass power plant connected to the electricity grid in Côte d’Ivoire.

This plant will be the first in West Africa to produce renewable energy from biomass for injection into the national electricity grid. It will be the result of a loan of 165 million euros and a grant of 13 million euros granted by Proparco and EAIF for the benefit of Biovéa Énergie, a company incorporated under Ivorian law owned by EDF (Électricité de France), Meridiam and Biokala, a joint venture created by Meridiam and Sifca. Biovéa Énergie will ensure the design, construction, operation and transfer of the biomass plant with a capacity of 46 MW over a twenty-five year period.

Planned in the department of Aboisso in the south-east of Côte d’Ivoire, it will be supplied by around 450 000 tonnes of palm waste made available by Palmci , a subsidiary of Sifca. 30 % of the biomass needed for the plant will come from Palmci palm oil plantations and the 70 The remaining% will be collected from small growers in the area.

More than 1 000 jobs created

The project will thus help to create 500 local jobs during the construction phase of the plant and more than 1,000 full-time jobs or equivalents during the operational phase. The biomass provided by smallholders is expected to generate an average increase in their income of 20 %. 12 000 of them are currently part of the company’s supply chain.

In the operational phase, the Biovéa project will make it possible to avoid the emission of around 340 000 teq CO 2 per year, according to team estimates. ” Biovéa is an innovative renewable energy project that places Côte d’Ivoire on a virtuous climate trajectory in accordance with the commitments of the Paris Agreement. It contributes to the development of a sustainable agricultural supply chain and to the production of renewable energy from local fuels ”, emphasizes Grégory Clemente, Managing Director of Proparco.

Raphaël Ruat, CEO of Biovéa Énergie, recalls that “Construction work on the plant will begin on the chosen site in September 2021. The plant will be commissioned in September 2024 in accordance with the schedule requested by the Ivorian Ministry of Energy. This is an innovative project that paves the way for a new impetus in the agro-industrial sector. “