AfDB awards US$68mn grant for hydroelectric power project in DR Congo

Inga04The Grand Inga Dam project would have the potential to generate 44,000 MW of electricty in the coming years. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved a US$68mn grant for the Inga hydroelectric power project in DR Congo

According to the AfDB, the funds given to the Inga Site Development and Electricity Access Support Project (PASEL) covered 43 per cent of the cost of the development on the banks of the Congo River.

With this funding, PASEL said it would finalise plans for the first phase of the project known as Inga 3, with a power generating capacity of 4,800 MW. The electricity generated from this project would be supplied through DR Congo and to South Africa, through an energy-sharing agreement.

“The first phase could facilitate the development of local institutions and training centres that have the potential to attract investors and lead to public-private partnerships, which could help complete this complex project,” said AfDB.

The Inga 1 and Inga 2 dams which have already been constructed, reportedly have the capacity to generate 1,700 MW of electricity.

The Inga 3 project is expected to improve access to cheap and reliable electricity by more than 40 per cent by 2020 and would power 25,000 households in DR Congo.

PASEL has estimated that the whole Grand Inga Dam project comprising six different hydroelectric power stations would have the potential to generate 44,000 MW of electricity in the coming years.

AfDB’s total funding for this project, since its inception, has amounted to US$90mn.  

 The bank’s director of Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department, Alex Rugamba, said, “This is the right project for the DR Congo and the bank. It is timely because it facilitates the implementation of an expensive project in the current environment.”

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