Ivory Coast plans to produce the world’s first energy from cocoa shells by 2020 after the largest producer of the chocolate ingredient clinched U.S. backing to assess the project.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency will fund a feasibility study for a plant producing as much as 70 megawatts from cocoa waste, officials from the two countries told reporters Monday in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, Abidjan. The project will be the first of its kind, they said.
Recast Energy LLC, based in Richmond, Virginia, will conduct the study based on earlier work already completed by Societe des Energies Nouvelles, a local group. The project may cost about 154 billion CFA Francs ($270 million), said Soden Managing Director Yapi Ogou.
Ivory Coast is targeting 434 megawatts of electricity generation from biomass by 2030.
The country produced more than 2 million metric tons of cocoa in the season through September 2017.