AfDB Supports Hydropower Project in Gabon
20 July 2012: The African Development Bank's (AfDB) Board of Directors has approved a €57.5 million loan in support of the Coder Hydropower Project in Gabon. The two planned hydropower projects will produce an additional 122 MW of renewable energy and save 530,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
Gabon faces frequent electricity blackouts and shortages, which hinder its economic and social growth. Consequently, Gabon has prioritized revitalizing its electricity supply and plans to transition from partial reliance on diesel power generation towards increased hydroelectric production. Gabon's national power and development strategy emphasizes infrastructure development and this project will increase its generating facilities from 373 MW to 1200 MW by 2020. According to AfDB, Gabon has a total hydro potential of 5000 MW.
The project will increase Gabon's national production capacity by one-third, increasing electricity to the national grid and ensuring security of supply to rural areas. Further, as the first independent power project in a country with a transnational transmission line, it is expected to create infrastructure for future regional interconnections and to stimulate private sector development.
The Coder Hydropower Project consists of two run-of-river hydroelectric power plants, a 52MW plant in north Gabon and a 70 MW plant in the Ngounie Province. [AfDB Press Release]