It will be a world first. Côte d’Ivoire is preparing to launch the world’s first power plant based on cocoa biomass. The project was the subject of an agreement signed June 2 between the Ivorian and American authorities in Abidjan.
Initiated by SODEN, the renewable energy company, the project will consist of producing electricity from the main rejection of cocoa, the pod, which can be valued and provide an additional source of income for farmers.
The USDTA, the US Agency for Trade and Development, has granted under this agreement a grant of nearly $ 1 million to the project for the finalization of the feasibility study entrusted to the American firm Recast Energy LLC.
The plant, whose construction will start in 2019, will have an annual capacity of 60 to 70 MW, powered by the almost inexhaustible source of 26 million tonnes of pods generated each year by the cocoa harvest. The cost of the investment is estimated at 154 billion FCFA, or 235 million euros.
According to the Ivorian government’s projections, the country plans to produce 424 MW of electric power based on cocoa biomass by 2030.
The world’s largest producer of cocoa with 2 million tonnes produced last year, the country’s electricity supply has increased to 2,200 MW in 2017 and is expected to reach 4,000 MW by 2020 according to the authorities.