Ivory Coast studies first cocoa-fired power station

A farmer works at a cocoa farm at Guire, a village of Soubre, in southwestern Ivory Coast. The west African country plans to build a power station fired by cocoa production waste. (Reuters)
Updated 03 July 2018
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Ivory Coast studies first cocoa-fired power station

  • Ivory Coast cocoa production waste amounts to 26 million tons mainly pods from which the beans have been extracted
  • The plant would be built in the center of the west African nation at Divo and generate 60-70 megawatts

ABIDJAN: Abidjan wants to build the world’s first biomass power station fired by cocoa production waste, Ivory Coast and US officials said Monday.
If the €235-million ($273-million) scheme gets the go-ahead, Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa grower, could go on to construct nine more power stations burning cocao waste.
The first plant could be up and running in 2023, said Yapi Ogou, the head of the Société des énergies nouvelles (Soden or New Energies Company) which is in charge of the project.
The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has financed a million dollars of feasibility studies which should be completed by next April.
Ivory Coast cocoa production waste amounts to 26 million tons, mainly pods from which the beans have been extracted, Ogou said.
The plant would be built in the center of the west African nation at Divo and generate 60-70 megawatts, he added.
Ivory Coast currently generates 2,200 MW but strong economic growth has put a strain on supplies.
The new cocoa waste plant would also save the equivalent of 250,000 tons of carbon di-oxide emissions, Ogou said.
A US trade delegation led by under secretary of commerce Gilbert Kaplan is visiting Ivory Coast and USTDA has re-opened an office in Abidjan after a 16-year gap.
Abidjan’s commerce minister Souleymane Diarrassouba said trade between the two countries had expanded 55 percent from 2012-2017 to reach 1.8 billion dollars.
Setting a target of three billion dollars by 2025, he urged US business “to invest massively in Ivory Coast.”


Head of Saudi Arabia’s SRC: ‘Ask banks for a mortgage, and we will refinance it’

Updated 25 April 2019
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Head of Saudi Arabia’s SRC: ‘Ask banks for a mortgage, and we will refinance it’

  • SRC CEO Fabrice Susini: One of our key objectives is to ensure that the banks are extending loans to more and more people
  • Extending home-ownership is one of the cornerstones of the Vision 2030 strategy to diversify the economy away from oil production

RIYADH: The head of the state-owned Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company (SRC) has made an unprecedented offer to the Kingdom’s home-seekers to underwrite future mortgages.
Speaking at the Financial Sector Conference in Riyadh, Fabrice Susini, SRC CEO, told the audience: “Ask them (the banks) for a mortgage, and we will refinance it.”
Although Susini later clarified his remarks to show that he still expected normal standards of mortgage applications to be met, the on-stage show of bravado illustrates SRC’s commitment to facilitate home-ownership in the Kingdom.
“Obviously if you have no revenue, no income, poor credit history, that will not apply. Now if you have a job, it is different. We have people in senior positions at big foreign banks that could not get a mortgage,” he explained.
He said that Saudi banks have traditionally assessed mortgages on the basis of “flow stability” of earnings. Government employees, or those of big corporations like Saudi Aramco and SABIC, found it easy to get mortgages “because you were there for life.”
“One of our key objectives is to ensure that the banks are extending loans to more and more people. The government is pushing for entrepreneurship, private development, private jobs. If you work in the private sector and cannot get a mortgage the next thing you will do is go to the government for a job,” Susini said.
Extending home-ownership is one of the cornerstones of the Vision 2030 strategy to diversify the economy away from oil production. Saudi Arabia has one of the lowest rates of mortgage penetration of any G20 country — in single digit percentages, compared with others at up to 50 percent.