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The African Development Bank has approved a $46,17 million (€39 million) loan package for Gabon to construct the Kinguélé Aval hydroelectric project.

The project entails the design, construction and operation of a 34,1MW power plant with a net annual generation capacity of 203 gigawatt hours. The Kinguélé Aval dam will be built on the Mbei River, 90kms east of Gabon’s capital Libreville. It will be downstream from the Tchimbélé (69MW) and Kinguélé Amont (58MW) hydroelectric plants.

Wale Shonibare, AfDB director of energy financial solutions, policy and regulation, said: “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 loan package is comprised of €20m from the AfDB, €10m from the Africa Growing Together Fund and €9m from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (a special, multi-donor fund managed by the AfDB).

Additional financing to meet the €133,8m project budget will come from the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation, the Canada-IFC Program for Renewable Energy in Africa, the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Development Fund. The loan funds will be disbursed to Asohna Énergie SA, a company created specifically to manage the project.

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The project aligns with the Emerging Gabon Strategic Plan and the country’s commitment to address climate change under the Paris Agreement nationally determined contributions framework. It is also consistent with the AfDB’s New Deal on Energy for Africa and the Light up and Power Africa High-5 strategic priority.

Dr Kevin Kariuki, AfDB vice-president of power, energy, climate and green growth, stated: “Kinguélé Aval epitomises 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.”