An integrated wood working industrial ecosystem with world class infrastructure
Republic of Gabon has embarked on a journey to provide amenable ecosystem and infrastructure to facilitate the secondary and tertiary processing of timber within Gabon after banning of exports of raw timber in 2010. In the same pursuit, Republic of Gabon in partnership with Olam International Limited, Singapore developed a Special Economic Zone, spread over 1126 ha at Nkok (20 Km from the capital city of Libreville). GSEZ SA has developed all modern infrastructure and utilities within Nkok SEZ.
Nkok SEZ has a dedicated 6 million litres water supply scheme for supplying industrial grade water. Water pricing is USD 0.86 per 1000 litre. Source of power for SEZ is 70 Mw duel engine power plant which can run both on gas and diesel. Electricity price is USD 0.09 / Kwh for industries. With good reserves of petroleum, raw material for Power Station is also not an issue in Gabon. Further, another High Tension line is under construction that will connect SEZ to a Hydro Electric Power Plant as well. Both, Quality and Quantity of power is suitable for all kind of industries.Sewerage network and Common Effluent Treatment Plant have been developed for the entire SEZ. 24/7 operational High Speed Fiber Optic Broadband Internet connectivity is provided by GSEZ SA within SEZ.Nkok SEZ has 45 lane kilometres of metalled internal roads with ample green areas and street lights.
Nkok SEZ enjoys all forms of connectivity. Nkok SEZ is located bang on RN 1 (national highway network). GSEZ SA has recently acquired a large saw mill, Somivab, along with its railway siding, which is located on Trans-Gabonais railway line. This railway siding is now part of common logistics facilities providing railway connectivity to industries in Nkok SEZ. For Water Connectivity, a quay with 200m long berth has already been constructed which connects the SEZ to Owendo Port as well as other parts of Gabon by water ways. Owendo Port is around 37 Km from Nkok SEZ by road, 24 Km by rail and 18 Km through waterway.
GABON WOOD HUB… First Furniture Manufacturing Cluster in Central Africa
Nkok SEZ also has 60,000 square meters of ready to use sheds as Furniture Manufacturing Cluster to promote manufacturing of finished products i.e. furniture in Gabon. Shed are provided on rental model in module of 5,00 square meters to furniture manufacturers intending to start their unit in Furniture Manufacturing Cluster. The cluster also offers common facilities like:
Kiln Drying: Dedicated 1,000 cubic meter per month capacity Kiln Drying has been installed to serve furniture manufacturing units
Show Room: A show room spread over 9,000 square meters to showcase furniture manufactured in the cluster
Packaging and Logistics: 2,000 square meters packaging and 4,000 square meters logistics facility within cluster for customs clearance.
As of now, there are seven units working from this cluster. In order to provide initial impetus to Furniture Manufacturing Cluster, Republic of Gabon has placed an order of 1,70,000 bench and table to GSEZ SA for public schools across Gabon and GSEZ SA is offering all furniture manufacturing units in Nkok SEZ to supply for this order. So, for every furniture unit, it’s a confirmed order even before setting up of the unit.
GABON FOREST… sustainably managed timber resource
Boasting the second highest forestry potential in Africa, Gabon’s forests covers 22.8 million hectares, i.e. 88% of the country’s land surface. Over the past ten years, Gabon has gone through a profound process of reform affecting the forest and environment. A new forest law has come into force that emphasizes Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) as the overall approach in the forestry.
Forest Management plans are fully developed for 3.45 million hectares of forest in concessions and were under preparation for another 6 million hectares of forest in concessions as in 2011. An estimated 2.42 million hectares of the natural production PFE is under SFM, including 1.87 million hectares of forest were certified under the FSC (some of them also had ISO 14001 and Keurhout certificates) as of June, 2010.
Timber Species … for furniture manufacturing
Gabon’s forests offers enormous possibilities with a logging potential of 12.5 million hectares with more than 400 species. Until 2010 i.e. before ban on export of raw logs, Gabon was the largest exporter of raw wood in the region, and its sales represent 20% of Africa’s raw wood exports. Gabon’s reserves of exploitable timber is estimated to upwards of 400 million CBM.
Hardwood Species like Sapelli, Sipo, Acajou, Andoung, Gheombi from Gabon are Pinkish Red to Brownish in colour and are similar to Genuine Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) in terms of colour, appearance and density. These timber species could very well serve as an alternative for Mahogany as it is listed in CITES
Appendix II. These species are suited for luxury and high end furniture and joinery. This is the reason for their high demand in Europe and USA. Large volumes of sawn timber of these species are exported to China, Vietnam and Malaysia, as they are the biggest manufacturers & exporters of furniture to developed countries.
Wenge is the premier dark hardwood from the forests of Gabon and suitable for contemporary interiors as it blends quite well with glass and stainless steel. Due to its dark colour, it is well suited for straight/clean line furniture and is quite popular in Europe.
Iroko, Beli, Tali and Okan species can be considered as alternative species to provide teak like finish. These species are quite popular in Asia and Middle East for furniture and joinery. Tali and Okan are extensively used in furniture manufacturing in Vietnam, mainly for export and has helped Vietnam to become second largest exporter of furniture after China. Furniture made out of these species is very popular in Asian and American markets.
Light colour tropical wood species from Gabon includes Izombe, Movingui and Bilinga. These species have appearance similar to Merbau / Kwila and are suitable for furniture as well as joinery and interiors.
Kevazingo (Guibourtia Spp.) is the most expensive and coveted wood species from the forests of Gabon. Trunk diameter of 150 cm is quite common for Kevazingo. Live-edge table tops made from it is in high demand in China because of its natural beauty and its coherence with customs and beliefs of Chinese community world over.
Padouck is a dark coloured redwood found in Gabon; quite similar to Rosewood and suitable for outdoor furniture as well as joinery. Outdoor flooring, decking and garden furniture made out of it is exported to European markets. It is resistant to damage from weather elements. Padouck is also very popular in southern part of India due to its red colour and high density. Door and door frames made from Padouck are very popular in the South Indian markets.