Construction of the first grid tied biomass power plant in Africa is set to commence. This follows a US $200m project finance deal with a US $16m grant to secure the financing of the project inked between Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) and Proparco.
The 46MW biomass power plant in Africa dubbed Biovéa biomass power plant will be developed in Ivory Coast. It will be located in Ayebo in the south-east of the country. Biovéa Énergie won the 25-year concession to design, build, operate and transfer the plant.
It will have two units of 23 MW each. Electricity will be produced by eliminating 480,000 tonnes of oil palm waste and 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 US $1.
The plant 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 24% shares.
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.