EDF, Meridiam and SIFCA sign financing agreements with Proparco and EAIF for the largest biomass plant in West Africa

EDF, Meridiam and SIFCA sign financing agreements with Proparco and EAIF for the largest biomass plant in West Africa

EDF, Meridiam and the agro-industrial group SIFCA, together within the BIOVEA Energie project company *, have signed with Proparco (AFD group) and Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (PIDG Group) the financing agreements ** 46 MW biomass power plant in Côte d'Ivoire. Under the terms of the agreements, Proparco and EAIF provide € 165 million funds in debt and € 13 million in subsidy, corresponding to 77% of the full cost of the project estimated at € 232 million. The balance will be contributed by the shareholders of Biovea Energie. Located in the municipality of Aboisso, 100 km east of Abidjan, Biovéa will be the largest power plant in West Africa supplied by agricultural waste and will fulfill renewable electricity needs of the equivalent of 1.7 million people per year.

Construction work on the plant should begin in September 2021 for commissioning scheduled in 2024. This plant contributes to Côte d'Ivoire's ambition to reach 42% of its energy mix from renewable energies at by 2030. It will contribute to the reduction, over the entire duration of the concession (25 years after commissioning), of the country's greenhouse gas emissions by 4.5 million tons of CO2 ***.

A true circular economy project, the plant will generate positive impacts on the agricultural sector and the Ivorian agro-industrial sector, especially using waste through the development of a local biomass sector. The biomass fuel will come from palm leaf residues from locally grown crops. The project will improve the living conditions of rural populations and increase annual incomes by up to about 20% for nearly 12,000 planters. It will also contribute to the fight against deforestation and extensive agriculture by promoting good agricultural practices and increasing yields in village plantations. Finally, the planters will benefit from the provision of combustion ash which will serve them natural fertilizer.

This project, in line with EDF's purpose and which reinforces Meridiam's commitment, as a company with a mission, to building sustainable infrastructures with a positive impact, directly contributes to the achievement of the objectives in terms of Sustainable Development set by the United Nations, and in particular:

  • Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization that benefits all and fosters innovation (SDG 9). In the region, the project will create at least 500 local jobs during construction. It will also promote long-term economic development by creating more than 1,000 direct full-time equivalent jobs during operation, generating significant economic benefits, and creating many stable indirect and induced jobs.
  •  Provide accessible and clean energy (SDG 7). The project will produce 348 GWh / year, corresponding to the consumption of about 1.7 million people, increasing the production of renewable energy in Côte d'Ivoire by 10%.
  • Promote decent work and economic growth for all (SDG 8). By improving the living conditions of 12,000 village planters, the project fully meets this objective, contributing to the achievement of full and productive employment and decent work. The project offers a safe and secure working environment for its employees by respecting the best international standards and by implementing action plans on working conditions or health and safety rules.


* Combining EDF 40%, Meridiam 36% and SIFCA 24%

** This is a major step in finalizing all the contractual documentation for the project

*** The project has been certified by the UN-Climate (UNFCCC), under the Mechanism of Clean Development

About EDF
A major player in the energy transition, EDF group is an integrated energy company, present in all businesses: production, transport, distribution, trading, energy sales and energy services. Leader in low-carbon energies in the world, the Group has developed a diversified production mix based mainly on nuclear and renewable energy (including hydraulics) and is investing in new technologies to support the energy transition. EDF’s purpose is to build a carbon dioxide neutral energy future that reconciles preservation of the planet, well-being, and development, thanks to electricity and innovative solutions and services. The Group is involved in supplying energy and services to approximately 37.9 million customers (1), including 28.7 million in France (2). In 2020, it achieved consolidated sales of 69.0 billion euros. EDF is a company listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.

(1) Customers have been counted since 2018 by delivery site; a customer can have two delivery points: one for electricity and another for gas.

(2) Including ÉS (Électricité de Strasbourg).

About Meridiam
Meridiam was founded in 2005 by Thierry Déau, with the conviction that the alignment of the interests of the public and private sectors can provide solutions to the essential needs of the community. Meridiam is a company with a mission, within the meaning of French law, specializing in the development, funding, and long-term management of sustainable public infrastructure in three business sectors: mobility of goods and people, energy transition and environment, and social infrastructure. Meridiam currently manages $ 8 billion in assets, and over 90 projects to date. Meridiam is ISO 9001: 2015 certified, Sustainability rating at Advanced level by VigeoEiris (Moody's) and has developed its own methodology in terms of ESG (environmental, social and governance criteria) and impact based on the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN (SDG or SDG). Meridiam

Fondé en 1964, SIFCA est un groupe agro-industriel ivoirien spécialisé dans trois domaines porteurs de l’économie africaine que sont le palmier à huile, le sucre de canne et le caoutchouc naturel. Il intervient sur toute la chaîne de production, depuis l’exploitation des plantations, la transformation des matières premières jusqu’à la commercialisation de produits semi-finis et finis. Installé dans 6 pays, le Groupe SIFCA compte plus de 30 000 employés, répartis dans 11 filiales dont certaines sont cotées à la Bourse d’Abidjan (SAPH, PALMCI et SUCRIVOIRE).

A subsidiary of AFD dedicated to the private sector, Proparco has been working for 40 years to promote sustainable development in economic, social, and environmental matters. Proparco participates in the financing and support of companies and financial institutions in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

About EAIF
Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund is a member of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG). EAIF provides a variety of debt products to infrastructure projects promoted primarily by private sector companies in Africa and parts of the Levant

Contacts Presse

EDF : Presse : +33 1 40 42 46 37 ;
Analysts and Investors: +33 1 40 42 40 38
MERIDIAM : Antoine Lenoir ; +33 6 07 50 75 85 ;
SIFCA : Corinne ATENOU YED, +225 07 67 28 28 58 ;