Biovea Energie is developing the 46MW Biovéa biomass power plant. Image courtesy of Biovéa Energie.
The Biovéa biomass power plant is located in the Aboisso region, Côte d'Ivoire. Image courtesy of Meridiam.
TSK Group is responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) works of the Biovéa biomass power project. Image courtesy of Biovéa Energie.

The Biovea power project is a 46MW biomass power plant under construction in the Aboisso region of the Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire). It is the largest biomass power plant in West Africa and will be fuelled by agricultural waste.

Biovea Energie, a joint venture of Electricité De France (EDF, 40%), Meridiam (36%) and SIFCA’s subsidiary Biokala (24%), is responsible for the design, construction and operation of the project.

The biomass power plant will be constructed with an estimated investment of €232m ($276m) and will be transferred to the State of Côte d’Ivoire after the conclusion of the 25-year concession tenure.

Construction on the project was initiated with the commencement of excavation works in February 2022 and the power plant is expected to be completed by 2024.

At full capacity, the Biovéa biomass power plant is estimated to generate about 348 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity, which is sufficient to deliver power to approximately 1.7 million people annually.

The biomass energy project is a key component of the National Action Plan for Renewable Energies 2014-2030 of Côte d’Ivoire that targets to secure 42% of its total energy production from renewable sources by 2030.

Location and site details

The Biovéa biomass power plant is located in Ayébo village, approximately 5km from the Aboisso town in the southeast of Côte d’Ivoire.

Covering an area of about 25ha, the project site lies 110km east of the capital city Abidjan.

Biovea biomass power plant details

The Biovéa biomass power plant will feature two units of 23MW each designed to be fuelled by plant waste collected from palm trees.

The project also involves the construction of a 350m transmission line, a substation, fibre optic equipment and ancillary road works.

Fuel consumption and supply

The Biovéa biomass power plant is estimated to consume approximately 450,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of palm residues.

The fuel will be supplied by Palmci, a subsidiary of Ivorian agribusiness group SIFCA, and small-scale growers in the locality. Approximately 30% of fuel will be sourced from Palmci’s industrial plantations while the remaining 70% from the village palm plantations.

The biomass supply basin for the project is located within a 60km radius from the plant, providing transportation benefits. The palm residues will be collected on an orchard with an area of more than 75,000ha, around Palmci’s main oil mills located in the Ehania and Toumanguie areas.

Power evacuation

The electricity generated from the Biovéa biomass power plant will be evacuated into a 90kV power transmission network in the eastern zone of Abidjan through a substation that will be constructed to the east of the plant.

Project financing

The Biovéa biomass power plant will be financed by Agence Française de Développement’s (AFD) subsidiary Proparco and Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF). A financing agreement for the provision of loans and grants was signed in June 2021.

The funding includes a loan amount of €165m ($196m) and a grant of €13m ($15m) corresponding to 70% of the project cost. The remaining financing will be provided by the Biovéa Energie shareholders.

Contractors involved

TSK Electronica Y Electricidad was awarded an engineering, procurement and construction contract by BIOVEA Energie for the development of the biomass power plant in June 2021.

Vinci Energies Côte d’Ivoire was contracted to develop the infrastructure associated with the 90kV electrical substation, whereas Bouygues Energies and Services was chosen to deliver the optical fibres and tele transmission works.

ECK BTP was selected to construct the access road to the biomass power plant.

International law firm Clifford Chance provided advisory services to Biovéa Energie on the structuring and financing of the project in June 2021. Linklaters served as the advisor to the financing lenders.

MOVIS International was contracted to provide logistics and transportation services to deliver the biomass from the collection sites to the project area.

CI-ENERGIES was chosen to plan the supply and demand of electrical energy for the project.