LONDON: Dekel Agri-Vision has signed a JV Agreement with Green Enesys Holdings Ltd. (GEG), a European renewable energy company with offices in Switzerland, Germany, Cyprus and Italy, to seek to develop HCTPPs in Côte d’Ivoire.
The development of HCTPPs is in line with Dekel’s strategy to further reduce costs at its vertically integrated palm oil operation at Ayenouan, and also to scale up and diversify its revenue and asset base.
GEG, which has developed renewable energy projects all over the world, with a track record of developing over 490MW of solar PV projects. The company has ongoing project development activities in Europe, Latin America and Africa, and is currently undertaking a feasibility study to construct an initial HCTPP in Côte d’Ivoire.
It is envisaged the HCTPP project will comprise a 30MW solar PV plant and a 5-6MW biomass plant using feedstock from Dekel’s Ayenouan project, specifically empty fruit bunches from the mill.
Under the terms of the JV, special purpose vehicles (SPV’ will be established through which the required rights, permits and contracts will be obtained for the construction, connection and operation of HCTPPs in Côte d’Ivoire.
These include power purchase agreements granted by and executed with the relevant authorities and/or entities; operational licences; land lease agreements; and long-term financing for the construction, connection and operation of the plants under a project finance scheme such that there is no requirement for Dekel, or its shareholders, to fund these projects.
Dekel and GEG shall use commercially reasonable endeavours to assist the SPV in procuring these matters.
The proposed HCTPPs will be solar PV plants combined with biomass or heat recovery or any other renewable energy sources, including storage.
Discussions with the Government to obtain the relevant power licence have commenced and a key next step will be to submit the permit application. Following the grant of the relevant permit, Dekel and GEG will look to secure the required project finance.
Dekel Executive Director Lincoln Moore said, “The JV with GEG is in line with our strategy to build Dekel into a leading agro-industrial company focused on West Africa with a portfolio of projects generating diversified revenue streams. Renewable energy sits well with the collaborative business model we have deployed at Ayenouan and are deploying at the Tiebissou cashew processing project, which is currently under development. By identifying a shortfall in processing capacity and building a state-of-the-art plant to process local produce, our model places local smallholders at the centre of operations. Sourcing our own energy requirements from renewable sources and taking part in government clean energy initiatives, not only makes commercial sense, but also goes hand in hand with the active role we play in the communities with whom we work with.”