Gabon has secured a US $342m loan from the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) to revamp the New Owendo International Port. The project which was developed by the Gabon Special Economic Zone Ports (GSEZ) is located 27km South of the Captal City, Libreville.
GSEZ Ports is set to receive US $49m from EAIF over 15 years on a first ranked basis, in addition to its sole mandated lead arranger role. GSEZ Ports is the first project of EAIF in Gabon.
Additionally, the African Development Bank (AfDB), which headed the structuring of the finance, has also extended US $49m in loan to refinance the project, releasing money for the largest shareholder to reinvest in other infrastructure projects in Africa, some in Gabon.
The Port’s potential
A new 500m-long main berth has been constructed to accommodate GSEZ Ports. It is twice as long as the original berth. The total length of the berth along with container quay is 800m and has been dredged to a depth of 14m to accommodate larger ships.
EAIF executive director Emilio Cattaneo mentioned that they are proud to be involved in Gabon’s drive to strengthen its industrial base, build employment and skills and create a more broadly-based economy. “GSEZ Ports is a powerful example of public and private capital working in partnership to create a development that will benefit Gabon for decades to come,” he added.
GSEZ Ports operates as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Gabon Special Economic Zone. Its shareholders include Olam International (40.5%), Gabonese Caisse des Depots et Consignations (CDC) owned by the Republic of Gabon (38.5%) and Africa Finance Corporation (21%).