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DRC: First-half 2007 completion for Inga hydropower study

The World Bank-funded Inga Three feasibility study was scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2007, with implementation scheduled soon thereafter, African Union commissioner Bernard Zoba said in Johannesburg on Friday
Inga Three was a proposed hydropower project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a potential rated output of 3 500 MW to 4 000 MW.

Zoba was speaking at a round-table press briefing to determine interest in the Inga projects, which would culminate in the massive Grand Inga.

DRC’s power utility Snel owned and operated the two existing power stations, Inga One and Inga Two, which currently had a combined output of 1 000 MW.

DRC needed to have an indication of what interest there was in the funding of Inga Three, technical provision and service aspects. Zoba did not rule out the possibility of a pledging conference taking place sometime in the future.

A number of power utilities had expressed interest in being involved in the rehabilitation of Inga One and Two, which, once rehabilitated, would supply a further 750 MW.

South Africa’s 20% stake in the Western Power Corridor Project (Westcor), which is expected to supply between 3 500 MW and 4 000 MW into the Southern African power pool, had the potential to bring relief to the whole of Southern Africa, including South Africa’s own growing power demand.

Grand Inga, which was considered as the continent’s project of the century, had the potential to supply a whopping 44 000 MW, which was more than South Africa’s total current capacity. At a cost of R28-billion, this would be the largest single largest hydro-electric initiative in the world, powering not just the DRC, but stretches of central and Southern Africa.

The power utilities of five SADC countries, including the Snel, Angola’s ENE, Nambia’s Nampower, Botswana’s BPC and South Africa’s Eskom, each had 20% of Westcor.

The World Bank had provided R13,5-million for Inga Three’s feasibility, which was scheduled for completion in the first half of 2007.

Snel CEO Vika Di Panzu said that the challenge facing the development of Inga Three, was timing.

“We don’t have any more time to waste,” he said, adding that he was ready to accept the first person to come up with the appropriate programme and financial package.

“We are going from the conference very encouraged,” Zoba said.


Additional information:
News date: 06/10/2006

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