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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook area reports: international 1975
Year 1975, Volume 3 (1975)

Jolly, Janice L.W.
Gabon,   pp. 393-398 PDF (720.2 KB)

Page 394

the remainder ($41.9 million) is a supplier credit. Japan granted a loan
for the purchase of railway cars. The Algerian Bank for Development loaned
$3.8 million to furnish 130 railway cars. The ExportImport Bank loaned $2.8
million for engineering services in construction of the railroad. This loan
will be combined with about the same amount from private sources not as yet
designated, and the Government of Gabon will put up cash equal to about 10%
of the contract (about $612,000). Two French companies, CIT-Alcatel and Cables
de Lyon Alsacienne & Geoffroy Deldre S.A. will install a $4 million
system for the railway. Westinghouse Air Brake Co., a French subsidiary of
American Standard Inc., received an order for braking equipment for 400 TransGabon
railway cars. A U.S. firm, Soros Associates, signed a contract to design
the new mineral port at Santa Clara for direct shipment of manganese and
iron. Soros was to complete the site investigations and detailed design of
port facilities within 18 months. The new port will handle 180,000 to 250,000
deadweightton class vessels about 7 kilometers offshore. 
 The Gabonese Government acquired 25% of the new Société
Gabonaise des Marbres (SIGAMA), which was formed at yearend 1974 with an
Italian group holding 75% of the capital. Two new industrial companies were
formed in 1975: 
The Société Gabonaise Industrielle de Construction,
with headquarters in Libreville and a capital of $125,000 by Essence et Lubrifiant
de France of Gabon (Elf-Gabon) and the Société Francaise
de Dragages et de Travaux Publics; and the Société
Gabonaise d'Etudes, formed with a capital of $208,000 for undertaking public
and urban civil engineering and economic studies.3 Elf-Gabon also established
the Société Gabonaise de Forages at Libreville with
an initial
capital of $417,000. The creation of a France-Gabon Bank in Paris was under
study. Negotiations included the Suez-Mines Union and the Odier-Bungener-Courvoisier
Bank. Capital was to be divided with 60% Gabonese interest and 40% French.
It was to be essentially a business bank with a role in recycling Gabonese
capital and par- 
ticipating in the financing of large devel~ opment projects in Gabon. 
 In January 1975, Gabon and Upper Volta drew up new job contracts stipulating
the rights and obligations of both States relating to Upper Voltan migrant
workers in Gabon. Discussions were held with India for economic and commercial
cooperation between the two countries when a delegation of Indian research
experts visited Gabon early in 1975. An economic accord was signed on July
9, 1975, in Seoul providing for export of enriched uranium, manganese, and
crude petroleum to the Republic of Korea. Gabon also signed and ratified
the Lomé Convention. The 44th Organization of Petroleum Exporting
Countries (OPEC) ministerial conference and the first conference ever to
be held in Gabon took place in June 1975. Gabon was admitted to OPEC as a
full member. This was followed on June 23 to 27, 1975, by an international
symposium on the natural nuclear reactor discovered at the Oldo uranium occurrence,
placing Gabon at the center of the scientific community's attention. A mission
of Romanian geologists also visited the principal mineral deposits of Gabon
in 1975. 
 Until 1972, all electricity production was by thermal power. By 1975, power
was derived from 14 thermal stations and two hydroelectric stations at the
Kinguele dam and at Oyem. There are plans to extend the capacity at Kinguele,
to build a plant at Poubara, and to construct another dam and reservoir above
the Kinguele complex. The start of service at the Poubara dam was forecast
to take place within 2 years. A feasibility study for the Poubara dam was
being done by the French Electricité de France. The new dam was
be constructed on the Ogooué River, about 20 kilometers from Franceville.
Initial production will be about 4,400 kilowatts; later it will be raised
to 13,000 kilowatts. The Kinguele Dam (20 megawatts) is situated 100 kilometers
from the Gabonese capital and 45 kilometers from Kango. The work was initiated
in 1969 and cost an estimated $1 7.8 million. About $5.8 million originated
from the Fonds d'Aide et Cooperation (FAC), $4.5 million from the 
 Industries Ct Travaux d'Outre—Mer (Paris). Afrique du Centre (Central
Africa). V. 23, No. 264, November 1975, p. 871. 

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