Ivory Coast receives US$200m blended financing from Proparco, EAIF for establishment of oil palm waste electricity project

IVORY COAST – Biovea Energie, an Ivorian incorporated firm owned by Électricité de France (EDF), Meridiam and Biokala, a joint venture created by Meridiam and a major agro-industrial player in West Africa, Sifca has closed a financing deal for its Biovea project in the country.

The Biovea project which seeks to set up the first biomass power plant with grid injection in Africa, is set to receive Euros 165m (US$200m) loan and Euros 13m (US$15.76m) grant from Proparco, the subsidiary of the French Development Agency (AFD) group responsible for financing the private sector, and Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF).

Proparco’s contribution to the deal is Euros 140m (US$169m) of blended financing made of Euros 135m (US$163m) at a concessional margin and a 5m EUR Viability Gap Funding grant.

Meanwhile EAIF, a Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) Company – managed by Ninety-One, will contribute around Euros 30m of debt and PIDG Technical Assistance provided an Euros 8m (US$9.70m) Viability Gap Funding grant.

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“BIOVEA is an innovative renewable energy project which brings Ivory Coast further on a virtuous climate trajectory as per Paris Agreement commitments and contributes to the development of a sustainable agricultural supply chain and energy production using local fuel.”

Grégory Clemente – CEO of Proparco

Biovea Energie, which was the winner of the 25-year concession to design, build, operate and transfer the 46MW biomass plant, will convert oil palm waste into electricity.

The power plant will be supplied with circa 450k tons of palm trees waste thanks to a long-term fuel supply agreement signed with PalmCi a subsidiary of SIFCA.

Palmci will source 30% of the biomass needed for the plant from its own existing industrial palm oil plantations and 70% from out growers who are expected to realize an average income increase of 20%.

Grégory Clemente, CEO of Proparco noted, “BIOVEA is an innovative renewable energy project which brings Ivory Coast further on a virtuous climate trajectory as per Paris Agreement commitments and contributes to the development of a sustainable agricultural supply chain and energy production using local fuel.

“Proparco is extremely proud to have accompanied EDF, Meridiam and SIFCA, 3 clients with which we have a long history of cooperation in the development and blended financing of this project from the very beginning.”

The project will help to create 500 jobs during the construction period and more than 1,000 jobs or full-time equivalent during the operating period.

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It is estimated that the Biovea project will also permit to avoid the emission of c.340 thousand tons of CO2 equivalent per year once operational.

The signing of the financing agreement comes days after Ivorian specialist in the biomass sector, Société des Energies Nouvelles (SODEN), partnered with US Trade and Development Agency to establish a cocoa-powered renewable energy plant.

The project, which will innovatively put to use the cocoa-waste is expected to cost about 131 billion West African CFA francs (US$244m).

The facility will use cocoa plant matter left overs, to produce between 46 and 70MW of electricity per year.

Ivory Coast currently gets most of its power from fossil fuels, with natural gas generating 70% of its energy.

The country has a target increasing usage of renewable energy sources to 42% and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 28% by 2030.

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