Saving the Planet

AfDB approves €39m to back Gabon’s first independent hydropower project

AfDB - cleanbuild
Credit: africaenergyportal.com

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has signed off on a €39 million loan package for the construction of the Kinguélé Aval hydroelectric project in Gabon.

According to Wale Shonibare, AfDB Director of energy financial solutions, policy and regulation, “Kinguélé Aval is a showcase project, and the success of the model provides a useful template for future projects that will help move the country closer towards achieving the government’s 100% clean energy target.”

The project will see to the designing, construction, and operation of a 34.1-megawatt power plant with a net annual generation of 203-gigawatt hours.

In terms of location, the Kinguélé Aval dam is set to be built on the Mbei River, 90 km east of Gabon’s capital, Libreville, downstream from the Tchimbélé (69 MW) and Kinguélé Amont (58 MW) hydroelectric plants.

The loan package, which will be disbursed to Asonha Énergie S.A., includes a €20m from the African Development Bank, €10m from Africa Growing Together Fund, and €9m in concessional financing from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa.

The International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group, the Canada-IFC Program for Renewable Energy in Africa, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Development Fund will also contribute to the project’s €133.8m budget.

Commenting also, Dr. Kevin Kariuki, AfDB Vice-President of power, energy, climate, and green growth, said, “Kinguélé Aval epitomizes the catalytic effect of SEFA and co-financing from the likes of the Africa Growing Together Fund that the Africa Development Bank brings forth to support developers deliver sustainable renewable projects that aid Africa’s energy transition.”

The project is in line with the “Emerging Gabon” Strategic Plan and the country’s commitment to address climate change under the Paris Agreement nationally determined contributions framework.

The hydropower project is also consistent with the African Development Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa and the “Light up and Power Africa ” High-5 strategic priority.

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