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Sep 8, 2021

Meridiam enters the shareholding of Setrag, concessionaire of the railway line linking Libreville to Franceville in Gabon

Meridiam enters the shareholding of Setrag the concessionnaire which operates the Transgabonais, the major railway line in Gabon, through a capital increase which is leading Meridiam to have a 40% stake alongside Comilog (an ERAMET subsidiary in which the Gabonese state is also a shareholder), the historic sole shareholder. This vital infrastructure for the country’s economy links, over approximately 650 km, Franceville (3rd city of the country) to Libreville (capital city) and the port of Owendo.

This follows the signature of an amendment to the concession contract, which extends its duration and confirms the new share capital structure of the subsidiary. Meridiam will bring its extensive experience in infrastructure investment and management, as well as its rail expertise to carry out a major modernization, renovation and upgrade program of the railway infrastructure. By improving safety, performance and capacity of the railway line, this investment will help facilitate national and export trade, improve Gabon’s regional and global economic competitiveness and support its growth.

 

Transgabonais ensures the transport of freight and passengers with an average of 330,000 annual passengers and nearly 9 million tons of goods transported in 2020. It carries in particular the bulk of the country’s manganese production - 90% -, and wood freight. As the only railway line available to the industrial sector, the Transgabonais is a key infrastructure for the economic growth and diversification of Gabon.  

 

Mathieu Peller, Partner, COO of Africa said: “We are thrilled to become a shareholder of Setrag, alongside Comilog, Eramet and the Gabon State. This investment will contribute to accelerate the Transgabonais pace of investment and increase the capacity of the railway line. This strategic and vital infrastructure will benefit to the communities and local businesses and support the country’s development and economic growth”.

 

The project will directly contribute to UN SDGs, and especially:

  • SDG8 (promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all): As Gabon endeavours to diversify its economy by fostering mining and forest industries, the Transgabonais is a key infrastructure for the economic growth. Setrag’s Economic Structural Adjustment Programs (ESAP) adopted in the context of IFC and Proparco’s financing include measures to promote safe and secure working environments for all workers.
  • SDG9 (build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation): Meridiam’s investment will accelerate the delivery of the current upgrade program and fund an additional modernization program in order to further increase the performance and the capacity of the railway. This is expected to contribute to the delivery of a more resilient infrastructure for the Gabonese Economy,
  • SDG12 (ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns): by allowing more freight to be transported by rail, Meridiam’s investment will contribute to a more sustainable industry in Gabon.

 

In Africa, Meridiam has enabled the financing and development of 17 major infrastructure projects in the last six years in the areas of energy transition and mobility of goods and people for a total amount of more than 4 billion euros.

 

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