Congo to develop hydroelectric PPP project

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Congo to develop hydroelectric PPP project

The World Bank has decided to develop the Inga 3 Dam in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a private investment through the International Finance Corporation, rather than as a public sector project.

The development of Inga would be implemented as a public-private partnership (PPP) deal. The African Development Bank, World Bank, French Development Agency, European Investment Bank and Development Bank of South Africa have all shown interest in financing Inga 3.

The development of this hydropower project raises a number of concerns. Among others, the most important is that the power production from the Inga 3 is mainly for industry users and will not improve the access level for the more than 90% of the DRC population who have no access to electricity.

The Democratic Republic of Congo recently received expressions of interest from consultants to perform feasibility studies for the project.

The project cost is estimated at US$12 billion. It includes a dam and a 4,800MW hydroelectric plant at Inga Falls on the mighty Congo River. In addition to building the dam wall and Inga 3 hydropower plant by 2020, the project proposes a power line that would stretch more than 5,000 km, from the project to South Africa, through Zambia and Namibia.

The Inga 3 hydropower scheme is the first phase in the construction of the Grand Inga hydropower project, located 225 km from Kinshasa, and 60 km upstream of the mouth of the Congo into the Atlantic Ocean. The Grand Inga scheme would have a generation capacity of 40,000 MW and will be developed in 7 phases beginning with Inga 3 (with 2 phases).

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