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Proparco and EAIF in biomass power plant deal

Africa Global Funds
June 28, 2021, 1:39 p.m.
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Proparco and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) have closed a €165m project finance deal and €13m grant to secure the financing of Biovea project in Ivory Coast.

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Proparco and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) have closed a €165m project finance deal and €13m grant to secure the financing of Biovea project in Ivory Coast.

This will be the first biomass power plant with grid injection in Africa.

The loans are granted by Proparco and EAIF to Biovea Energie, which was the winner of the 25-year concession to design, build, operate and transfer the 46MW biomass plant.

Biovea Energie is incorporated in Ivory Coast and is sponsored by EDF (Electricité De France), Meridiam, and Biokala, a joint venture set up between Meridiam and SIFCA, a major agro-industrial player in West Africa.

EAIF - a Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) Company - is managed by Ninety-One.

EAIF’s contribution to the deal is around €30m of debt and PIDG Technical Assistance provided an €8m Viability Gap Funding grant, while Proparco committed €140m of blended financing made of €135m at a concessional margin and a €5m Viability Gap Funding grant.

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 outgrowers.

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. 70% of biomass will be supplied by local small holder farmers who are expected to realize an average income increase of 20%. 12,000 are currently in the company’s supply chain. 

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.

Grégory Clemente, CEO of Proparco, said: “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. This project will contribute to job creation and revenue increase of households in rural areas as well as important CO2 emissions avoidance.”

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