The €180m Kinguélé Aval hydroelectric project in Gabon has received its first disbursement of €134m.
The funds were advanced by the African Development Bank, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the Private Infrastructure Development Group, and the International Finance Corporation arm of the World Bank.
The 35MW project, located on the Mbei River about 100km east of Libreville, is being developed as a public-private partnership scheme by Asonha Energie – a special purpose vehicle 60% owned by Paris-based investor and asset manager Meridiam – and 40% by the Gabon Power Company.
The EPC contractor for the scheme is Chinese dam specialist Sinohydro, which will be working with French companies Artelia and EDF.
Sylvain Bouyé, the managing director of Asonha Energie, said the first drawdown reflected “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”.
The project was first agreed in March 2017, and a 33-year concession agreement was signed by Meridiam with the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Budget, and the Ministry of Water and Energy in October 2019.
As part of the project Meridiam will convert 2,000ha of forest into a biodiversity sanctuary, electrify the nearby village of Andock Foula and will donate equipment for the laboratory and delivery room of Kango hospital.