Asonha Energie S.A.
This summary covers the applications by Meridiam Infrastructure Africa Fund FIPS and Meridiam Infrastructure Africa Parallel Fund FIPS (together, Meridiam) and by yet-to-be determined financial institutions for their equity/quasi-equity/shareholder loan and non-shareholder loan investments respectively, in the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of a hydroelectric power plant with an installed capacity of 35 MW located in Kinguélé Aval in Gabon (the “Plant”), and (ii) the design, construction, and commissioning, on behalf of the host government, of the inter-connection facilities to connect the Plant to the national electricity transmission network (together with the Plant, the “Project”). The investors seek cover for up to EUR117.5 million against the risks of Transfer Restriction and Inconvertibility, Breach of Contract, Expropriation, and War and Civil Disturbance for a guarantee period of up to 15 years.
The Plant is a proposed run-of-river 35 MW hydropower project which will have an average annual power production of 200 GWh. It will be located on the River Mbé, in the northwest of Gabon, about 90 km east of Libreville. The Plant will utilize the steep gradient of the Kinguélé Falls, which comprise about 20 rapids of 1-5 m height to provide the hydro-energy potential. The concrete dam will be 48 m in height with a crest length of 470 m. The reservoir capacity will be 4.2 Mm3, with a surface area at maximum water level of 267 ha, and the length of the lake will be about 7km. Since the Project is located downstream of the two existing hydropower schemes it will only require the construction of a 300-m powerline to connect to the existing 225 kV TL, less than 1-km of new access roads, and realignment 1.4 km of the existing access road to route it around the new reservoir upstream of the dam. Construction materials for the Project will be provided from nearby existing quarries and no new borrow pits for the construction are envisaged. The construction of the Project is forecast to take 40-45 months. The number of workers required will vary during construction but the peak number of workers is expected to be between 450 and 700. The staff levels during operation are not yet known but expected to be much lower than during construction.
The project is a Category A under MIGA’s Policy on Environmental and Social Sustainability. Click here to view the Environmental and Social Review Summary prepared by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for their investment in the project. MIGA and IFC intend to present the project for consideration jointly to their Boards of Executive Directors.
The Project will provide increased affordable, reliable, and efficient baseload power to help meet growing energy demand, avoid more frequent power cuts, and enhance energy security in Gabon. The Project is aligned with the World Bank Group’s Country Strategy for Gabon which supports improved access and quality of services, including in energy, as well as other critical infrastructure investments. Support for the Project also aligns with MIGA’s strategic focus on climate change mitigation benefits.