Linklaters advises GSEZ Ports on the refinancing of the New Owendo International Port project by the EAIF and the AfDB

  • Gabon’s largest industrial-scale infrastructure public-private partnership to date
  • Project at the core of Gabon’s economic diversification strategy aimed at expanding the country’s scope of economic activities

Linklaters has advised Gabon Special Economic Zone Ports (GSEZ Ports) on the long-term debt refinancing by the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (€40m) and by the African Development Bank (€40m) of the investments made in the development of the New Owendo International Port by the GSEZ Ports shareholders (which account for nearly 75% of capital for the project).

The port’s expansion comprises the construction, operation and maintenance of a new 500 metre-long main berth (twice as long as the original berth), dredged to a depth of 14 metres and capable of handling up to 4,000,000 tons of general cargo per annum (thus doubling the ports capability).

The project, Gabon’s largest industrial-scale infrastructure public-private partnership to date, is an integral part of the Gabonese development strategy to diversify its hydrocarbons-dependent economy. It is also the first offshore financing in Gabon since the adoption of the new Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa foreign exchange control regulations.

GSEZ Ports is a fully owned subsidiary of Gabon Special Economic Zone (GSEZ), itself ultimately owned by the Republic of Gabon (38.5%), the Africa Finance Corporation (21%) and Singapore-based firm Olam International (40.5%).

The Linklaters Paris based team working on the transaction was led by Bertrand Andriani (Partner), Binta Barry (Associate) and Etienne Paletto (Associate) on financing aspects and Pierre Sikorav (managing associate) on public law aspects.