The feasibility study which stemmed from the cooperation between Brazil and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) indicates that the production of ethanol from sugarcane is the best and most competitive option towards sustainable development of biofuels in West Africa. Also according to the study, the ideal model for the region allows the producer to combine ethanol, sugar and electric power outputs, in different proportions, according to local priorities and necessities.
The study was conducted within the framewok of the Memorandum of Understanding on Biofuels between Brazil and the WAEMU, signed in 2007. It is the result of a partnership, established in 2011, between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Brazilian National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) to conduct studies in bioenergy. Its results are being officially delivered and presented today, October 1st 2015, by the Brazilian Government, in Dakar, Senegal, during an event on the future of bioenergy policies of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), organized by the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE).
The study was conducted in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. It involved research on climate, soil and environmental conditions, on social and market structures, on infrastructure and legal framework, among others factors in those countries that may impact on the sustainability and feasibility of bioenergy production. The study also shows opportunities for Brazilian investors and exporters and for the strengthening of the productive chain in the countries that decide to develop the biofuels sector, with positive impacts not only on the trade balance and the energetic matrix of each country but also on their populations.