Earlier in February, armed men commandeered Veolia’s assets in Gabon, the Société d’énergie et d’eau du Gabon (SEEG) – Gabon’s Energy and Water Company – acting on a decision of Gabon’s Water and Energy Ministry.
The Veolia Group is strongly protesting against the brutal action taken entirely contrary to the rule of law, and is doing everything in its power to support its employees in Gabon.
Veolia won Gabon’s public water and electricity concession in June 1997, under the terms of a 20-year contract with the Gabonese Republic whereby the company became the majority shareholder of SEEG, owning 51 per cent of the subsidiary.
One of the largest foreign employers and investors in Gabon, Veolia has been established in Gabon for more than 20 years. The company has invested approximately FCFA 366 billion (US$686 million) since 1997. Alongside managing the production and distribution of drinking water and electricity through Gabonese territory, the company investments include human resources and training and financing, which have enabled Gabon to triple the number of people with water and electricity supply, and making the country a leader on the African continent.
Presently, Veolia and its directors and employees in Gabon have done everything possible to establish a constructive and responsible dialogue with the authorities. With this brutal expropriation, the company is also examining the legal consequences of the situation, and expects Gabon to comply with the rule of law as well as its obligations.