Gabon Special Economic Zone (GSEZ) Ports has secured a USD $342 million long-term debt finance from the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), to expand facilities at Owendo Port in the capital Libreville.
Apart from acting as the sole lead arranger, EAIF is lending to GSEZ Ports $45 million over 15 years, while the African Development Bank (AfDB), which headed the structuring of the finance, has also extended $45 million loan.
GSEZ Ports has been awarded a concession contract to build and operate the new port for a period of 30 years period.
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“The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund immediately saw the strategic economic development potential for Gabon of our new port,” said Théophile Ogandaga, GSEZ Deputy General Director.
“GSEZ Ports has benefitted from the expertise, experience and skill of EAIF and from the PIDG focus on special enterprise zones. Our state-of-the-art port has been angular and critical for Gabon’s economy during the last two years and this new funding will help us elevate it even further.
The new infrastructure will handle general bulk and liquid cargoes and container traffic.
Owendo’s existing port facilities for general cargo had reached maximum capacity. The infrastructure will provide four million tonnes of additional capacity, doubling the port’s capability.
A 500 meters long berth has been built to accommodate the GSEZ Ports. The berth has been dredged to a depth of 14m, allowing it to accommodate bigger ships.
EAIF executive director Emilio Cattaneo said: “We are proud to be involved in Gabon’s drive to strengthen its industrial base, build employment and skills and create a more broadly-based economy.
“GSEZ Ports is a powerful example of public and private capital working in partnership to create a development that will benefit Gabon for decades to come.”
GSEZ Ports is EAIF’s first project in Gabon.
GSEZ Ports is a wholly owned subsidiary of Gabon Special Economic Zone. Its shareholders includes Olam International (40.5%), Gabonese Caisse des Depots et Consignations (CDC) owned by the Republic of Gabon (38.5%) and Africa Finance Corporation (21%).