The long awaited work on the Ngoulmendjim hydroelectric dam (83 MW) is now expected to kick off between March and April 2023, we learned from Asokh Energy officials. The company is responsible for building, managing and operating the infrastructure for a period of 25 to 30 years.

The company is 60% owned by the Eranove Group and 40% by the Gabonese Strategic Investment Fund (FGIS). The start of this work is conditional on the completion of the mobilization of funding.

According to the contracting authority, the project is valued at 400 million euros, or 262 billion FCFA, including 65.5 billion FCFA (25%) of equity and 196.5 billion FCFA (75%) which will be provided by donors, including the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

According to Asokh, the share to be contributed by the shareholders of the project, Eranove and the FGIS, is already available and all that remains is to mobilize the rest of the financing.

“Currently, we already have 100 million euros which represent the share of the shareholders. All that remains is the part of the donors to start the work. We are in discussion with donors. We hope to complete the financing next November  ,” said an official from Asokh Energy.

Once launched, the work should last four years, with commissioning of the plant scheduled for 2027.

Environmental impact study and resettlement plan

Pending the start of works, some progress has already been made in the implementation of the project. For example, we can cite the environmental impact study as well as a resettlement plan (RAP) for people affected by the project, which was finalized a few weeks ago.

The environmental impact study has made it possible, according to Asokh Energy, “to identify, assess, mitigate and compensate for the potential impacts” linked to the project to build the 225 kV power transmission line connecting the Ngoulmendjim switchyard (10.5 kV/225 kV) and the Ntoum 2 substation at Okolassi (225 kV/90 kV) over 125 km.

The resettlement plan, for its part, made it possible to identify the natural or legal persons located on the future rights-of-way of the project works, to identify the various goods affected and to negotiate compensation measures. Thus, 552 plots, 156 inhabited houses and 561 people have been identified by the project, we learn.

“It appears that the populations affected by the project are influenced by the impact linked to the right-of-way of the project, in particular on the part of the construction and operation of the 225 kV line going from the power station to the electrical substation of Ntoum 2. As a result, three areas of our natural environment are influenced: Environment, Biodiversity and Social” , explains Asokh Energy.

In addition, a social environmental management plan is planned to minimize the influence of the project on the environment and the populations. This plan provides in particular for the protection of water resources, the protection of the natural environment through measures in favor of biodiversity (fauna, flora, ecosystem), waste management, access management and the security of facilities.

7% hydroelectricity in the energy mix

When completed, the Ngoulmendjim hydroelectric plant will have a capacity and participation in the interconnected network (RIC) of 83 MW, with an annual production equivalent to 550 GWh.

The energy produced there will be sent to the municipality of Libreville. The project aims to contribute to increasing the share of hydroelectricity in the electricity mix to 7% and to create 1,000 jobs, 80% of which are nationals.

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