July 6 (Renewables Now) - The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) this week announced a grant to support the world's first cocoa biomass project in Cote d'Ivoire.
The project is a biomass-to-energy plant that will use cocoa waste as fuel and have a capacity of 60 MW to 70 MW. The USD-996,238 (EUR 849,925) grant has been awarded to Societe des Energies Nouvelles (SODEN), which is developing the project in Divo. US firm Recast Energy LLC will carry out the feasibility study. SODEN managing director Ogou Yapi said he sees this as the first of many biomass projects in the country.
USTDA said the project will provide renewable energy to improve Cote d'Ivoire's energy security and will also create jobs and an additional income source for cocoa farmers.
This grant was announced together with a further two. Local company Kokumbo Energies SA, a subsidiary of eleQtra Ltd, will get USD 999,135 to support the development of a 27.7-MW run-of-river hydro power project in the Gagnoa district. US company Knight Piesold and Co will conduct this feasibility study, USTDA said.
The third grant, of USD 733,780, is designed to support the creation of a strategy to reduce transmission and distribution losses and integrate smart technologies into the country's electricity system.
USTDA said the announcement marks its "re-opening" in Cote d'Ivoire as the grants are first it has signed in 15 years.
(USD 1 = EUR 0.853)