IFC and Omnicane Sign Agreement for Energy Transition

Omnicane is an Independent Power Producer (#IPP) based in Mauritius which contributes nearly 25% of all the renewable energy in the island state. During harvest season, the thermal power stations burn sugar cane bagasse, while outside the harvest season, they burn coal, imported mostly from South Africa.

Under this agreement, Omnicane will thus start the process to transition fully to biomass and phase out coal. The IFC will support Omnicane financially and technically to carry out necessary studies and equipment upgrade. To that effect, Omnicane has already benefitted from the expertise of a Norwegian consulting firm.

Key Members of Omnicane and IFC Teams Pose for Souvenir Photo
Key Members of Omnicane and IFC Teams Pose for Souvenir Photo

Currently, Omnicane operates two thermal power plants at La Baraque and St Aubin. Together, they inject 600 GWh annually into the national grid. By going fully green, it is estimated that 720,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (#tCO2) will be avoided.

In partnership with French firm Mecamidi, Omnicane also operates a Hydroelectric Power Plant in Rwanda. The plant has a capacity of 5.1 MW and generates 25 GWh of energy annually.

“It is an honor for the IFC to collaborate with Omnicane in the context of this innovative green project which aims to convert a thermal power plant in order that it shall rely solely on renewable fuel sources. Together, we are tracing new pathways towards smart climate action in order to mobilize investment opportunities for an inclusive and sustainable development in Mauritius, which will serve as an inspiration on the African continent.”

IFC Country Director Idamou Labara

Given the limited local availability, prospection missions in neighboring countries on the African continent has already been initiated to secure supply of biomass. In that regard, Omnicane has undertaken missions in Mozambique and Namibia. Mozambique has 7,000 hectares of eucalyptus which can be used biomass, while Namibia has instituted the Namibia Biomass Industry Group which has shown keen interest.

With this project, Mauritius is positioning itself as a leader among Small Island Developing States (#SIDS) in the journey to #NetZero. Being particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of #ClimateChange, Mauritius has set ambitious Nationally Determined Goals in order to achieve #CarbonNeutrality.

The phasing out of coal is in line with the stated policy of the Government of Mauritius to achieve 60% of renewables in the energy mix by 2030. In fact, the Government has come up with the National Biomass Framework in favor of the #GreenTransition.