GABON: 4 banks disburse €123m for the Kinguélé Aval hydroelectric dam

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GABON : 4 banques décaissent 123 M€ pour le barrage hydroélectrique de Kinguélé Aval ©Ministère l’Energie et des Ressources Hydrauliques du Gabon

In Gabon, the Kinguélé Aval hydroelectric project has received its first disbursement of 81 billion CFA francs. The funding has been raised by four lenders to the project, which is being developed under a public-private partnership (PPP).

The first non-sovereign loan of 81 billion CFA francs (123.4 million euros) has been granted by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector financing arm of the World Bank Group.

“Obtaining this first drawdown from international lenders reflects the confidence of these financial institutions in our project and our ability to make a positive and lasting difference to the daily lives of thousands of Gabonese,” says Sylvain Bouyé, Managing Director of Asonha Energie, the company developing the project. The dam currently under construction on the Mbéi River, 90 km from the Gabonese capital Libreville, will have an installed capacity of 35 MW.

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Asonha Energie estimates the annual production capacity of the hydroelectric plant at 205 GWh. This is equivalent to 13% of the electricity consumed in the city of Libreville. According to the company, the future power station will help to replace existing thermal capacity and save more than 150,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

On the ground, the work is being carried out by Sinohydro, which has signed the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with Asonha Energie. The Chinese contractor is being assisted by French company Artelia and its compatriot Électricité de France (EDF). Asonha Energie is building the Kinguélé Aval hydroelectric dam under a public-private partnership (PPP). The special-purpose company is 60% owned by the French investment company Merdiam and 40% by Gabon Power Company (GPC), the subsidiary of the Gabonese Strategic Investment Fund (FGIS).

The electricity produced will be sold to the Gabonese Water and Energy company (SEEG) for 30 years. The total cost of the Kinguélé Aval hydroelectric scheme is estimated at 117.4 billion CFA francs, or nearly €179 million.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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