IVORY COAST: Proparco finances Ayebo biomass power plant project (46 MW)

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COTE D’IVOIRE : Proparco finance le projet de centrale à biomasse (46 MW) d’Ayebo©edf

Proparco, a subsidiary of the French Development Agency group, has just granted a 90 million euro loan to the Ivorian company Sifca. The funding is for a series of development projects, including a 46 MW biomass power plant in south east Ivory Coast.

Proparco, a subsidiary of the French Development Agency (AFD), announced on Monday, October 8, 2018, the granting of a 90 million euro (58,8 billion FCFA) loan to the Ivorian industrial group Sifca. Benefiting from co-financing from Société Générale and Proparco’s Dutch counterpart, FMO, the credit line is intended to finance Sifca’s activities through its subsidiaries. Among these is the biomass power plant project carried out by Biokala SA, Sifca’s renewable energy subsidiary.

Biovea, a 46 MW biomass power plant

In September 2014, Sifca and EDF signed an agreement for the construction and operation of a biomass power plant in Ivory Coast. Four years later, investments are being made. With a capacity of 46 megawatts (MW), the power plant located in Ayebo in the south-east of the country will produce 337 gigawatt-hours (GWH) annually from 476,000 tonnes of oil palm waste. “This project responds to two African challenges, particularly in Ivory Coast: to develop the biomass generated by agro-industrial activities and to meet energy needs in a continent where the electrification rate is less than 40%. But above all, this project generates an environmental bonus by providing an additional source of income for oil palm growers, which will make it possible to finance their fertiliser supply or technical assistance to improve yields,” explains David Billon, project manager and President of Biokala SA. Founded in 2010, Biokala is a subsidiary of the Sifca Group, specialised in renewable energies, in particular biomass energy produced from palm waste.

This financial contribution to the project, which has a construction cost of 185 million euros, is a significant support that contributes to the inclusive growth of the South Comoé region. The Ayebo biomass plant will develop a sustainable energy and agricultural sector by recycling 13,500 tonnes of potassium-rich palm ash, which will be used as fertiliser in food and oil palm plantations. In addition, the project will save 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 per year and enhance biodiversity protection.

The €90 million loan made available to Sifca by Proparco will also help to develop a local value chain and improve the supply of essential goods. These include road maintenance and rehabilitation, school management, clinics, infirmaries and piped water supply infrastructure for employees, their families and surrounding communities.

“This financing is in line with our mission to support agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in the least developed and post-conflict countries,” says Delphine Moreau, agro-industry advisor in Proparco’s Industry, Agriculture and Services division.

Boris Ngounou

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