In a briefing on the start of operations and community awareness on environmental and social policies of the Biovéa Biomass Power Plant (Ayébo Biomass Power Plant) Project in Ivory Coast, it was revealed that the construction of the power plant, which is expected to begin operations in 2023, is now underway with excavations works having commenced on the site.
Biovea, the company in charge of the Ayébo biomass power plant construction project, intends to invest approximately 200 million euros in the project. It is said that Biovea will rely on Proparco which is a French Development Agency private sector finance arm for loans, as well as funding from the Netherlands Development Finance Corporation.
Upon completion, the Ayébo biomass power plant project will generate power by incinerating oil palm waste. Several firms are involved in this agricultural waste recovery initiative, including Movis Ivory Coast, a logistics and supply chain firm.
The logistics and transportation of biomass from the collecting sites to the Ayébo facility will be handled by a subsidiary of Movis International.
Power production volume
A total of 12,000 farmers will have their agricultural waste collected for the next 25 years. The Ayébo power plant project will be divided into two 23-MW units. The facility’s overall capacity will be 46-MW. It is also said that 480,000 tons of oil palm waste will be used to generate power.
Biovea Energies is 40% owned by Electricité de France and 36% by Meridiam, a French corporation that specializes in the development, financing, and administration of infrastructure projects. The remaining 24 percent is held by Biokala, a subsidiary of SIFCA, an Ivorian industrial conglomerate. Biovea and the Compagnie Ivoirienne d’Electricité have previously signed a 25-year power purchase agreement.
Concession Agreement Signed for Construction of Biomass Power Plant in Ayebo
The government of Ivory Coast has signed a concession agreement to construct a biomass power plant in Ayebo in the southeast of the country.
The concession contract was signed by Biovéa Énergie, the company that will carry out the project. It will be 40% owned by the giant Électricité de France (EDF) and 36% by Meridiam, a French company specializing in the development, financing, and management of infrastructure projects. Biokala, the subsidiary of the large Ivorian industrial group Sifca, holds the remaining shares (24%).
The project is being supported by Proparco, the subsidiary of the French Development Agency (AFD) in charge of private sector financing, and also by the Dutch Development Finance Corporation (FMO).
“All the conditions necessary to make the project a success have been accepted by the various partners. This signature is the key element of the economic model of this project, which includes the distribution of risks and responsibilities and defines the role of each actor, including the government,” said Valérie Levkov, EDF’s Africa, Middle East, and Eastern Mediterranean Director.
Biovéa biomass power plant
The energy plant dubbed Biovéa biomass power plant upon completion will produce electricity from oil palm waste. It will have two units of 23 MW each. Electricity will be produced by eliminating 480,000 tonnes of oil palm waste. which will be sold to the Electricity Company of Ivory Coast (CIE) for a period of 25 years under the power purchase agreement. CIE will purchase 1 kWh of electricity at the US $1.
According to the signed agreement, EDF is responsible for the construction of the installation. Biokala will be responsible for managing the biomass supply chain. In this case, it is oil palm waste. The company will source its supplies from 12,000 farmers. The residues will be transported to the plant site in Ayebo in the southeast of the Ivory Coast.
Meridian on the other hand has been tasked with ensuring the financial stability of the project which requires an investment of US $223m. Construction is set to begin in mid-2020 and be completed by 2023.
Biovéa Biomass Power Plant Project Finance Deal Signed
A US $200m project finance deal and a US $16m grant to secure the financing has been signed between Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) and Proparco, for the 46MW Biovéa Biomass Power Plant (Ayébo Biomass Power Plant) Project.
The project will help create 500 jobs during the construction period and more than 1,000 jobs or full-time equivalents once it is operational. 70% of the biomass is expected to be supplied by local smallholder farms who are expected to realize an average income increase of about 20%. It is also projected that the Biovea project will help avoid the emission of 340,000 cubic tons of CO2 annually once the plant is operational.
“The Biovea project will contribute to the development of a sustainable agricultural supply chain and energy production using local fuel in Côte d’Ivoire,” said Proparco CE, Grégory Clemente.