Financial close for biomass plant PPP concession in Côte d'Ivoire

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The French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Proparco, and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) have closed a EUR165 million (US$195.71 million) project finance deal and EUR13 million (US$15.41 million) grant to secure the financing of Biovea biomass power plant project in Côte d'Ivoire.

The loans are granted by Proparco, the private sector financing arm of Agence française de développement (AFD) Group, and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund to Biovea Energie, the winner of the 25-year concession to design, build, operate and transfer the 46MW biomass plant. Biovea Energie is incorporated in Côte d'Ivoire and is sponsored by EDF (Electricité De France), Meridiam, and Biokala, a joint venture set up between Meridiam and SIFCA.

EAIF contributed EUR30 million (US$35.58 million) of debt and PIDG Technical Assistance provided a EUR8 million (US$9.48 million) Viability Gap Funding grant, while Proparco committed EUR140 million (US$166.04 million) of blended financing made of EUR135 (US$160.12 million) at a concessional margin and a EUR5 million (US$5.93 million) Viability Gap Funding grant.

The power plant will be supplied with around 450,000 tons of palm tree waste with 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.

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