Our impact

Kinguélé Hydro Dam, Gabon

35-MW hydropower plant developed on the Mbei River

 

Background

The Kinguele Aval Hydropower project consists of the design, building, financing, operation and maintenance of a 35-MW hydropower plant developed on the Mbei River and a substation. It will deliver about 13% of the electricity needs of Libreville, the capital city of Gabon. This power plant will contribute to replacing thermal power capacity and will save more than 150,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

The project I is very close to the transmission line connecting the two existing hydropower plants upstream to Libreville, therefore no additional transmission line is required. A 33-year concession agreement (inclusive of three years of construction) was signed with the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Budget and the Ministry of Water and Energy in October 2019.

During the early design stage of the project, Meridiam searched the optimum balance between maximizing energy production and minimizing environmental and social impacts. This resulted in the size of the reservoir being divided by nearly 2 compared to initial plans.

The ESIA process, managed by Meridiam and its E&S advisors (EDF, Artelia and Biotope), has confirmed a low impact on fauna and flora and that no resettlement of local population would be required.
In 2019, the project received its environment and social certificate from the Gabonese authorities. The project’s management plans include concrete social and environment actions to foster capacity building and will benefit local communities:

  • A biodiversity action plan comprising an offset mechanism in accordance with IFC Performance Standards (PS) which results in a net gain. Net gains are additional conservation outcomes that can be achieved through biodiversity actions and measures. Concretely, the compensation mechanism consists in converting up to 2,000 ha (c. 10x the project footprint) of forest concession into a protected area. To that effect, a tripartite agreement was signed in October 2021 between
    the State of Gabon, the Project Company and the forest concessionaire to retrieve the designated area for biodiversity compensation purposes.
  • Rural electrification will be provided to the nearby village of Andock Foula (currently off-grid) located
    3 km from the project site.
  • Dispensary staff and patients will be provided with new and modern equipment to ensure effective
    treatment of populations and workers on the site.
  • A fund will be set up to support local initiatives and assist local communities in developing
    sustainable activities.

The project contributes to the “Plan Stratégique Gabon Émergent”, for which the Gabonese Government is committed to providing its people with affordable, clean electricity, by increasing the country’s renewable energy mix to 80%2 by 2025 by using hydro as baseload power. The Gabonese Government signed a development agreement for Kinguele Aval with Meridiam and the FGIS (the Gabonese sovereign fund) in March 2017.

Stage:

Commercial Close

 

Learn more on the project:

Financial close on the Kinguélé Aval hydroelectric power plant

Meridiam signs Kinguele Hydropower plant concession contract in Gabon

Kinguélé aval environmental and social impact assessment

 

Key

project for the Plan Stratégique Gabon Emergent

13%

Contribution to electricity needs of Libreville

150k t

of CO2 avoided annually

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