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USTDA Announces Re-Opening in Côte d’Ivoire to Support Ivoirian Economy and Infrastructure Development

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Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire- Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) announced awards for three grants and two study tours to the United States to support infrastructure development in Côte d’Ivoire.  USTDA’s support includes:

  • A $996,238 grant for Société des Energies Nouvelles (SODEN), an Ivorian energy company, to support the development of a 60 to 70-megawatt (MW) biomass-to-energy plant fueled by cocoa waste in Divo, Côte d’Ivoire. The project will be the world’s first cocoa biomass project, providing significant renewable energy to increase Côte d’Ivoire’s energy security. It will also create jobs and provide an additional source of income for the country’s cocoa farmers. U.S. firm Recast Energy, LLC will conduct the feasibility study.
  • A $733,780 grant to the Ministry of Economy and Finance and Ministry of Energy through Société des Energies de Côte d’Ivoire to create a “Loss Reduction Strategy,” which will reduce transmission and distribution losses and integrate smart technologies into the Ivoirian electricity system. Doing so will increase the reliability and efficiency of Côte d’Ivoire’s energy network and provide opportunities for U.S. companies to participate in the sector. A U.S. contractor for this study will be chosen through the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website at www.fbo.gov.
  • A $999,135 grant to the Ivoirian company Kokumbo Energies S.A., a subsidiary of eleQtra Ltd., to support the development of a 27.7 MW run-of-river hydro power project on the Bandama River in the Gagnoa District of Côte d’Ivoire. The project will harness Côte d’Ivoire’s significant hydropower potential and create jobs and energy for the country. U.S. firm Knight Piésold and Co. will conduct this feasibility study.

In addition to these three grants, USTDA is announcing two study tours to the United States for Ivoirian public and private sector leaders to travel to the United States to see the design, manufacture, and operation of U.S. technologies and services. The West African Customs Modernization and Trade Facilitation Reverse Trade Mission will focus on customs modernization technologies that can help make the import and export of goods more efficient and transparent for the businesses and people of Côte d’Ivoire. The West Africa Smart Grid Reverse Trade Mission will introduce decision-makers from West Africa’s power sector to U.S. technologies, services, and equipment for improved electricity transmission and distribution.

“These projects demonstrate our commitment to investing in infrastructure that will drive the growth of the Ivoirian economy,” said Thomas R. Hardy, USTDA’s Director, Congressional and Public Affairs. “The Ivoirian economy is strong and growing, and we look forward to supporting this growth, while helping U.S. companies enter this dynamic market.”

“We are delighted to be signing deals that will help improve the energy sector in Côte d’Ivoire. We will continue to closely work with USTDA to have more deals in this and other sectors of the economy,” said Haïdara Mamadou, the Honorable Ambassador of in Côte d’Ivoire to the United States.”

Ogou Yapi, the Managing Director of SODEN said, “I want to move ahead quickly with the Divo cocoa biomass project, and this grant will help to do that. This is just the beginning - I see this as the first of many biomass projects here. This project will provide jobs, additional opportunities for cocoa farmers and the cocoa economy, and it contributes not only to energy security in Côte-d'Ivoire but it can also help us reach our goal of reducing our CO2 emissions by 28% set at COP21 in Paris.”

Gad Cohen, CEO of eleQtra, said, “This grant will accelerate the development of the Kokumbo project and allow for much needed affordable clean energy to meet the growing demand from Ivorian households, businesses and institutions.”

These projects were inspired by a meeting between Prime Minister GON Coulibaly and USTDA’s Director, Congressional and Public Affairs, Thomas R. Hardy in November 2017. These projects represent USTDA’s ‘re-opening’ in the country, with these grants being the first signed in fifteen years. USTDA’s partnerships in Côte d’Ivoire were also supported by many conversations with Minister of Energy Thierry Tanoh and with the assistance of the Ivoirian Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Haïdara.

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Allison Getty at (703) 875-4357