Building to begin on one of West Africa’s largest biomass power plants

By French Development Agency

Building to begin on one of West Africa’s largest biomass power plants

Construction is due to begin in September of a new power plant producing energy from biomass – one of the largest such plants in West Africa. The project, financed by Proparco and partners, will create more than 1,000 jobs and expand access to clean energy.

Côte d’Ivoire will soon be getting a much-needed boost to its energy supply. It will be home to one of the region’s largest biomass-based power plants, thanks to an injection of funding.

In June, AFD‘s subsidiary for the private sector, Proparco, and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) signed off on a combination of loans and grants to build the new power plant and connect it to Côte d’Ivoire’s electricity grid. The plant will be funded through a loan of €165 million and a grant of €13 million from Proparco and EAIF.

Over a period of 25 years, Côte d’Ivoire-based company, Biovéa Énergie will be responsible for designing, building, operating, and transferring the 46 MW plant.

To be built in the Aboisso Department in south-eastern Côte d’Ivoire, it will be fuelled by some 450,000 tons of palm waste supplied by Palmci, a subsidiary of Ivorian agribusiness group, Sifca. About 30% of the biomass needed for the plant will come from Palmci’s palm oil plantations, with the remaining 70% being collected from small-scale growers in the region.

Creating jobs and clean energy

The project will help to create 500 local jobs during the construction phase and more than 1,000 jobs or full-time equivalents once the plant is up and running. The biomass supplied by small-scale growers should see them boost their revenues by 20%. Some 12,000 of them are currently part of the company’s supply chain.

Once operational, the Biovéa project is expected to avoid roughly 340,000 TEQ of CO2 emissions a year.

“Biovéa is an innovative renewable energy project that puts Côte d’Ivoire on the right track when it comes to meeting the commitments outlined in the Paris Agreement,” says Grégory Clemente, Proparco’s CEO. “It will contribute to the development of a sustainable agricultural supply chain and the production of renewable energy from local fuels.”

Raphaël Ruat, CEO of Biovéa Énergie said: “construction work will begin in September 2021, and according to the schedule outlined by Côte d’Ivoire’s Energy Minister, the plant will open in September 2024. This is an innovative project that will open up a new chapter for the agribusiness sector.”