Extensive feasibility phase
The Addax Bioenergy investment model includes a thorough feasibility phase that lasted from 2008 to 2010. This involved an extensive Environmental, Social, Health Impacts Assessment (ESHIA), including 14 independent specialist studies. In accordance with international standards, all draft reports were released for public review and key findings were presented to all interested and affected parties at national, provincial and local levels.
The process resulted in the most extensive stakeholder dialogue ever performed in Sierra Leone, according to the country’s Environmental Protection Agency and local NGOs. It included engagement with local landowners and Chiefdom Councils, who welcome the benefits the project is bringing to their communities, as well as local and national authorities and civil society. The feasibility phase also served to ensure that the project was designed to meet all the requirements for certification for export to Europe were fully met or exceeded
Based on the ESHIA, a Social and Environmental Management Plan (SEMP) was developed with the objective of managing potential impacts and strengthening the environmental and social capacities in the area.
The structure and quality of the ESHIA has been applauded as “the gold standard” of impact assessments by industry professionals and has been recognized in the results of a study commissioned by the EU Commission on the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) of 19 biofuel projects. The study , carried out by Chalmers University in Sweden and Ecofys, a renewable energy consultancy in The Netherlands, concluded that Addax Bioenergy‘s EIA “stands out in comparison with the other EIAs” and that “if the Addax approach proves successful more companies targeting the
EU-RED market might follow”.