The power market in Gabon is expected to register a CAGR of more than 3.4% during the forecast period. The electricity consumption in Gabon grew at a CAGR of 12.52% during the period 2011-18 and is expected to continue the same trend over the forecast period. Gabon, with approximately 2 million population in 2019, is the fifth-largest country in the African continent, by area. The country relies on hydropower and natural gas for almost all its electricity demand. Moreover, power generation has witnessed decent growth in the last decade. Almost two-thirds of the population of Gabon had access to electricity, as of 2018. Furthermore, the country’s power sector is expected to be driven by the investment of foreign players for the construction of new power plants. However, Gabon also has a large share of electricity being generated through fossil fuels, and with the declining production of oil and gas, the country will have to increase the import which is expected to restrain the growth of the Gabon power market.
- The hydropower sector is expected to dominate the market, owing to new investments from the foreign players.
- The increase in the capacity of renewables to decrease the carbon footprint is expected to create an opportunity for the renewable energy companies in the near future.
Key Market Trends
Hydropower Sector is Expected to Dominate the Market
- Hydroelectricity is one of the major sources of electricity in Gabon. In 2018, the country generated 1,103.5 GWh electricity from the hydropower plants. However, the country is still reliant on the import of electricity, and in 2018, the country imported 403 GWh electricity from foreign grid lines to fulfill its electricity requirement.
- Owing to the increasing electricity demand, the Ministry of Water Resources & Electricity has planned to increase the hydropower generation capacities in the coming years, to become self-dependent and cut down the import of electricity.
- The Poubara dam is the largest power plant with an installed capacity of 160 MW. Other hydropower projects that are currently in the planning stage or under-construction include the Ngoulmendjim dam, Empress Eugenie Falls dam, and FE2 Falls dam.
- In recent years, the Gabonese government passed various tenders regarding hydropower plants, to eventually reduce the country’s carbon footprint. In 2019, the Gabonese government announced that the Kinguele Aval hydropower plant is likely to save more than 150,000 metric ton of CO2 emissions per year, after commissioning.
- With various hydropower projects expected to come online over the forecast period, the hydropower segment is expected to continue its dominance over the forecast period as well.
Foreign Investment for Increasing Power Generation Capacity is Expected to Drive the Market.
- Gabon is one of the richest countries in central Africa, where urban electrification has reached more than 97% in 2019. However, the access to electricity in rural areas is still low compared to the urban areas. The Gabonese government is inviting foreign investment for increasing installed capacity to fulfil the rural area electricity requirement.
- Earlier, in 2019, the African Development Bank and the GPC-Eranove Consortium signed an agreement to finance the construction of the Ngoulmendjim (73 MW) and Dibwangui (15 MW) hydropower plants in Gabon, with a total investment of EUR 160 million. Moreover, CGGC, a China-based company specializing in the construction of hydroelectric power stations, committed to fund the USD 200 million power project to strengthen the China-Africa cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.
- Apart from the hydro-power projects, in August 2019, a French company, ENGIE, through its subsidiary, Ausar Energy, announced that it won the tender to build eight solar power plants.
- In September 2018, TBEA, a Chinese government-funded company, announced an investment of EUR 180 million for a hydropower project. In 2019, a French company, Meridiam, and the Gabonese government signed a public-private partnership (PPP) agreement for the Kinguélé Downstream hydroelectric project. The Kinguélé Aval hydroelectric power plant is expected to have a capacity of 34 MW, which is scheduled for commissioning at the end of 2023. The foreign investment is expected to drive the growth of the Gabon power market over the forecast period.
The market is fragmented. The key players in this market Eranove SA, Genser Energy Holdings Inc., China Gezhouba Group Company Limited, Engie SA, TBEA Co. Ltd, and others.
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