A public-private partnership (PPP) agreement has been signed between the French company Meridiam and the Gabonese government for the implementation of the Kinguélé Aval Downstream hydroelectric project in the western estuary province of the country.
Under the agreement, the French company will hold a 60% stake in Asonha Energie, the company set up to operate the future facilities. The remaining 40% of the company’s shares will be held by the Gabonese Strategic Investment Fund (FGIS), the sovereign fund of this Central African country.
Kinguélé Aval Downstream hydroelectric project
The name ‘Kinguélé Downstream hydroelectric’ comes from the fact that it is located downstream of the Kinguélé hydroelectric dam, which supplies 68.4 MW from the waters of the Mbei River.
Another dam, which will be built upstream, is located 100km from Libreville, the Gabonese capital. Asonha Energie will build a reservoir, a power plant, a stilling basin and a substation near the Andock Foula village.
Upon completion, the Kinguélé Aval hydroelectric power plant will have a capacity of 34MW. Construction work is set to begin in the second quarter of 2020 during which 800 new jobs will be created directly on site.
A call for tenders has already been issued for the selection of a company to execute the engineering, procurement and infrastructure construction contract for the project. Commissioning of the hydropower project has been scheduled for the end of 2023.
During the operation phase, 20 Gabonese professionals will be responsible for the operation of the hydroelectric power plant. Asonha Energie will sell the electricity produced to the Gabon Energy and Water Corporation (Seeg), pursuant to a 30-year power purchase agreement (PPA).
The project is being supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private sector financing subsidiary, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).