• Surging ahead

    Surging ahead

    Financing has been secured for the construction of one of Africa’s first biomass power plants to supply a national grid.

    EUR165 million in project financing and a EUR13 million grant will go towards the development of the 46 MW power plant, which will be capable of supplying the equivalent of 1.7 million people a year with electricity. The plant, to be built 100 km east of Côte d’Ivoire’s capital, Abidjan, is expected to be among the largest in West Africa.

    The funding deal was approved between the Côte d’Ivoire government, the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund and Proparco, the private-sector financing arm of the French Development Agency.

    The power plant will be fuelled with about 450 000 tons of agricultural waste from palm trees per year. Smallholder farmers, who are expected to boost income by an average of 20%, will supply 70% of the plant’s biomass needs. It is also estimated that the project will avoid more than 450 000 tons of CO2 emissions over 25 years.

    The plant is being designed, built and run by Biovea Energie, a joint venture developer of biomass plants in France, through a 25-year concession contract. Six hundred jobs will be created during construction, and more than 1 100 permanent jobs during operation.

    Work on the plant is scheduled to begin in September this year.

    22 June 2021
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images