Investor Forum on Financing opportunities for Rice Husk Waste to Energy and Typha Use

Dakar, July 24-25 – The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the Government of Senegal (GoS), in collaboration with key stakeholders, co-organized an investor forum on rice husk waste to energy and typha valorization, held on  July 2425 at the King Fahd Palace Hotel in Dakar. The forum was chaired by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Equipment (MAER), Dr Dogo Seck. About 90 participants attended, representing government ministries, agencies & national directorates, rice mills, the rice mill association, technology providers, project developers, private and public sector financial institutions international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and civil society.

The investor forum is the culmination of GGGI’s support to the GoS in the preparation of bankable projects for the waste to energy sector. The rice and typha sectors were selected in coordination with the GoS and other key stakeholders. The objectives of the investor forum are aligned with the Senegalese Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in contributing to the increase of green energy production to 20% in the national energy mix.

The National Program for Self Sufficiency in Rice (PNAR) has a total production target of 1.6 million tons rice paddy by 2017. This target is unlikely to be met due to high processing and logistics costs, of which energy prices are a significant part. The cost of electricity in Senegal is high at USD 0.26/kWh. Energy from rice husk waste can potentially increase the competitivity of the rice mills by lowering the cost of energy between USD 0.1/kWh and USD 0.22 /kWh (42-62% of the cost of energy, based on the size of the rice mill), and would also reduce their dependency on the grid. The total recoverable electricity from rice husk waste in Senegal, is 26 GWhe/y (based on 2016 data of rice husk produced). This potential is expected to increase up to 74 GWhe/y once the targeted rice production detailed in the National Program for Self Sufficiency in Rice (PNAR) is reached. Associated investment costs in waste gasification technology are estimated to be USD 5.6 Million and will increase to USD 16 Million.

Through a financial and technical evaluation, GGGI determined the commercial viability of rice husk waste to energy projects at five rice mills. The rice mills (Vital Agro-Industries, Terranga Enterprise, Coumba Nor Thiam Suarl, CMG Agro-Industries, Fall et Frères Entreprises) were selected by a technical committee appointed and led by MAER.  Four of these opportunities were presented at the investor forum, which attracted an immediate expression of interest from Caisse Nationale de Credit Agricole du Senegal (CNCAS), a National Bank that focuses on financing agriculture related activities in Senegal. Furthermore Ankur Scientific, a technology provider, has expressed interest in developing technology solutions for the presented rice husk waste to energy opportunities. Three of the rice mills have agreed to further discussions to conduct feasibility assessments for the design and financing of the bankable waste to energy projects with CNCAS and Ankur Scientific. The projects will pave the way to create a transformational change in the rice sector by introducing lower cost green energy solutions and increasing the sector’s competitiveness to assist it meet ambitious growth targets set by the GoS.

The latest estimations on typha in Senegal have shown that approximately 60,000 to 80,000 hectares of typha are available to the GoS. The opportunities for typha uses are (1) to produce bio charcoal, (2) as construction material for energy efficiency of building and (3) as feedstock for processing units such as gasifiers. During the investor forum, these opportunities were presented and discussed along with the challenges of harvesting the typha. SGI, a private sector project developer, CNCAS and Ankur Scientific have expressed an interest in collaborating in the design and financing of typha to energy solutions project opportunities.

Dr Waly Diouf, the National Coordinator of PNAR, made the closing remarks for the investor forum recognizing the efforts of GGGI and other stakeholder in working towards the implementation of green energy solutions including the design of  bankable projects for the Agriculture sector.

Links to local press coverage of the event: