Gabon: Asonha Energie, Sinohydro Sign Turnkey Contract for Hydroelectric Dam

Asonha Energie signed a turnkey contract with Chinese engineering and construction firm Sinohydro on Tuesday for the development of the 35-MW Kinguélé Aval hydroelectric dam. Located on the Mbei river approximately 100-km from Libreville, the project will generate 205 gigawatt-hours of clean energy per year, equating to 13% of current electricity consumption in the capital city.

The signing of the Engineering, Procurement and Construction contract follows the previous award of the tender to Sinohydro in September. Serving as a joint venture between the Gabonese Strategic Investment Fund (FGIS) and the Meridiam Fund, Asonha Energie represents the first Independent Power Producer in the country. In August, the company received a $51.5-million loan from the International Finance Corporation for the construction of the dam, accounting for one- third of total project costs.

In addition to boosting installed electricity capacity within the region with a view to electrifiying rural communities, the dam will stimulate economic growth through the local procurement of goods and services from national companies. Furthermore, project construction – which is planned to kick off by the end of the year – will generate over 700 jobs.

“The mission of FGIS is to be the catalyst for a structural and lasting transformation of the economy of our country, in particular in the context of economic recovery resulting from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Akim Mohamed Daouda, Director-General of FGIS. “By investing in key sectors such as health, education and energy, we wish to contribute to the wellbeing of the Gabonese population. Kinguélé Aval is the first in a long series of structured and innovative projects that will participate in the growth and economic and social development of Gabon and improve access to clean energy for all.”

First commissioning of the hydroelectric dam is anticipated for 2023.