Ivory Coast: Top Projects to Watch

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Eni Oil and Gas Discovery

Eni’s latest oil and gas discovery in the offshore waters of the Ivory Coast is expected to significantly boost domestic oil and gas production in the near future. Discovered in September 2021, Eni has stated that testing and fluid sampling have given favorable results and that it has launched studies for a ‘fast-track development’ of the field, located on block CI-101. Estimates put the field reserves to between 1.5 to 2 billion barrels of oil and about 1.8 to 2.4 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Biovea Energie Biomass Power Plant

Ivory Coast is set to build Africa’s first biomass power plant 100 km east from Abidjan. The project will be carried out and then operated by Biovea Energie, a company incorporated under Ivorian law owned by France’s EDF, Meridiam, and Biokola and will be financed in part by the aforementioned consortium with approximately €22 million and by Proparco, an Agence Française de Développement subsidiary for the private sector, and Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund through a loan of €165 million and a grant of €13 million.

Upon completion, the power plant will have the capacity to generate 336 GWh of energy per year, supplying a mere 1.7 million people on a yearly basis. The biomass fuel will necessitate 450,000 tons of palm waste, coming principally from small-scale farmers, thus promoting the agricultural sector and increasing the yearly income of about 12,000 farmers by 20%. What’s more, the construction of the plant will create 500 jobs and another 1,000 permanent positions after completion. The project aims to tackle deforestation and extensive agriculture through the promotion of good agricultural practices and by increasing crop yields.

The project is said to curtail CO2 emissions by 340,000 TEQ of CO2 emissions per year. Construction of the plant started in September and is scheduled to open in September 2024.

Singrobo Hydroelectric Power Station

In a bid to diversify its energy mix, the country will inaugurate in 2023 a new 44MW hydroelectric power station, named Singrobo, southeast of Yamoussoukro across the Bandama River. The project’s total cost amounts to €195 million and is sponsored by a consortium that includes IHE Holding, the African Development Bank, and the German Investment Corporation. French civil engineering construction company, Eiffage has been awarded the construction contract for the power station, which includes the construction of a mixed rock and concrete dam with a 105 million m3 reservoir, as well as a discharge channel, a 3 km grid and power plant connecting line, a 90 kV switchyard, and access roads.

Singrobo will have the capacity to deliver 217 GWh annually of power and will cut CO2 emissions by 124,000 tons per year. And, when completed, the project will be West Africa’s first IPP hydroelectric power project. Energy output will be sold under a 35-year power purchase agreement to the Compagnie Ivoirienne d’Électricité.

Atinkou “CIPREL V” Thermal Power Station

The Atinkou “CIPREL V” 390MW Thermal Power Station is expected to be operational in 2024 and will serve to replace the ailing plants of Aggreko (200 MW), Vridi (100MW), and Ciprel I (99W). The power plant will be fueled by natural gas and will utilize combined cycle technology, thus generating energy more efficiently.

Moreover, the Ivory Coast aims to boost energy exports with the station’s output while meeting the country’s baseload requirement. The construction phased permitted the creation of approximately 800 jobs and will create 75 permanent positions during operations. Total cost of the project is estimated at €404 million.

Scaling Solar Photovoltaic Power Plants

In 2019, the Ivory Coast and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private sector subsidiary, signed an agreement for the launch of Scaling Solar, an initiative that aims to facilitate private investment into solar power development projects in emerging markets. The construction of two solar parks of 60 MW each have will be located in Laboa in the country’s northeast and another in Touba in the central-west department of Mbacké. In June 2021, the Ivorian government launched the pre-qualification for financing, construction and operation of both solar power plants. Selected Independent Power Producers will be in charge of the construction and operation of the plants for a 25-year period. Energy produced will be sold under a power purchase agreement with the Compagnie Ivoirienne d’Électricité.

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Damon Biesold

Damon Biesold

Damon Biesold is ECP’s Congo Field Editor, where he produces the country’s first Africa Energy Series report due to be published in early 2022. Damon has experience working in sub-Saharan Africa and writes about the energy sector in the Republic of Congo. He recently obtained his MA in National Security Studies.

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