Gabon: the arrival of a new shareholder will revitalize

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In Gabon, rail traffic continues to grow as Transgabonais, the only railway in the country to become operational in 1986, ages. To speed up the renovation, the French group Eramet, which owned 99% of the shares in Setrag, the company that manages Transgabonais, has agreed to open the capital to Meridiam, another French group. Meridiam is bringing the new money to achieve the goal of transporting more goods and more passengers.

From our correspondent in Libreville,

In 2019, Setrag transported 6 million tonnes of goods. Libreville expects 12 million tonnes by 2024, so the renovation of the track, which has been going on for several years, must be accelerated.

Loïse Tamalgo, CEO of the French group Eramet, welcomes Meridiam’s entry into the capital Setrag. “Meridiam’s entry was motivated by the need to accelerate existing investments, through a capital injection of EUR 30 million, or approximately CFA 20 billion, and an investment fund of EUR 40 million, or approximately CFA 24 billion. It should be noted that Meridiam also brings with it its expertise in railway management, to support the emergence of Setrag and make it possible to catch up with transport needs that change very quickly, ”it is actually worth.

Eramet through its Gabonese subsidiary Comilog, Compagnie minière de l’Ogooué, remains the majority owner of Setrag with 51% of the shares. The Gabonese state also enters the capital with 9%. “The Meridiam group, which returns with 40% and which will provide new money to inject, will not only increase work, but also encourage other entrepreneurs and create jobs,” said the Minister of Transport. Constant Paillat.

The work to be carried out concerns the replacement of wooden sleepers with concrete sleepers, construction of clearing tracks in stations and the acquisition of more robust rails. Goal: to further increase the capacity of the line, Loïse Tamalgo explains: “The investment of the new shareholder would make it possible to increase the capacity from 12 million tonnes to 19 million tonnes by 2035. We also have the ambition for Transgabonais to become a world-class 4.0 train, which can revive the Gabonese economy. ”

648 km long, Transgabonais became a large economic share while the World Bank in the 1970s considered it unprofitable.

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