• Extensive commitment of the Côte d’Ivoire under the Paris agreements for energy transition
• An innovative project, creating jobs and additional revenue for the farmers

EDF, Meridiam and Biokala (subsidiary of the SIFCA Group), through their joint venture company BIOVEA Energie, signed today a concession contract with the Côte d’Ivoire Government. The contract covers design, funding, construction and operation of a 46-MW biomass power plant for 25 years. This major milestone should lead to the launch of construction works mid-2020 and to the commissioning of the plant mid-2023. The plant located in Aboisso, 100 km to the east of Abidjan, will be the largest plant in West Africa fuelled with agricultural waste, generating enough electricity to supply 1.7 million people all year long. EDF, Meridiam and SIFCA respectively hold 40%, 36% and 24% shares in BIOVEA Energie.

This project falls within the framework of the Côte d’Ivoire National Renewable Energy Action Plan for 2014-2030, with the aim of achieving a 42%-share of renewable energies in the energy mix by the year 2030. The purpose of this project is to support the Côte d’Ivoire agro-industrial sector and contribute to the aims set by the country at the time of the COP21. Throughout the duration of the concession contract, this biomass power plant will enable the Côte d’Ivoire to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by more than 4.5 million tonnes. At the end of the concession, the plant will become property of the Côte d’Ivoire State.

Biomass fuel comes from leaf residue of the palm trees grown locally(1) and contributes to the fight against deforestation and extensive agriculture by promoting good farming practices and increased yield of the village crops. The Biovéa project is replicable and constitutes a source of circular economy, with positive impacts on the farming sector, including improved living conditions of the rural populations and additional revenue of up to 20% a year for nearly 12 000 planters. The planters will also benefit from the supply of combustion ash to be used as a natural fertiliser.

Plant construction will create at least 500 local jobs. During the plant’s operating lifetime, more than 1,000 equivalent full-time local jobs will be directly created, with significant economic effects and creation of numerous stable indirect jobs.

Total project costs represent around M€200 of investment. Funding is ensured by the members of the consortium and financial partners, including the French Development Agency with its subsidiary Proparco and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund.

This project contributes directly to achieving certain sustainable development goals (SDG) specified by the United Nations: build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation (SDG 9), ensure clean and affordable energy (SDG 7) and promote decent work and economic growth for all (SDG 8).

(1) Biomass will be retrieved within a 60 km radius around the plant from 12,000 non-industrial planters (which represents over 70% of the biomass) and from PALMCI, a subsidiary of the SIFCA group.

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