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There are pockets of progress in building infrastructure across Democratic Republic of Congo, with commercial operators and development finance institutions supporting a range of projects. But with eastern regions traumatised by violence and an uncertain election looming in December, the country remains as challenging an environment as ever, writes Jon Marks.

DR Congo
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Expressions of interest (EoI) have been requested by the Ministry of Energy for consultancy services to prepare a 40MW wind plant, following a general procurement notice.

Zambia
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Gambia’s National Water and Electricity Company (Nawec) has requested bids for substation and low voltage (LV) line works as part of the Gambia Electricity System Reinforcement and Expansion (Gesrp) project.

Gambia
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Australian Stock Exchange (ASX)-listed Lindian Resources has confirmed the timeframe for the expected commissioning of its Kangankunde rare earths project in Malawi. 

Malawi
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Ivanhoe Mines has opted for commercial and industrial (C&I) supply from an independent power producer (IPP) for its Platreef project in Limpopo province, becoming the latest large South African offtaker to respond in this way to the woeful performance of utility Eskom.

South Africa
Issue 491 - 18 September 2023

Mozambique: Cuamba solar plant commissioned

Free
Project bulletin

The Cuamba solar PV plant, which includes 2MW/7MWh of battery energy storage, has started commercial operations, according to developer Globeleq.

Mozambique
Free

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed triumphantly announced on 10 September that the fourth and final filling of the $4.2bn Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Gerd) reservoir had been completed, raising the 74km3 reservoir’s water level to 625 metres; last year’s third filling had brought levels to 600 metres.

Ethiopia
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Disasters in Morocco and then Libya in the first half of September – the first a natural disaster, the second largely the product of human mismanagement – have put renewed pressure on the authorities in both countries.

Libya | Morocco
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German development bank KfW has offered a €200m ($214m) loan to Eskom to help the state utility  improve transmission grids in the Northern and Western Cape, as western nations look to step up their support for South Africa’s creaking electricity system.

South Africa
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Egyptians are hoping for cooler weather and with it the end of severe rolling power outages which have caused difficulties throughout the summer. However, the social and economic legacies of the electricity supply crisis will outlast the ferocious Mediterranean heatwave, which has provided the government’s only – but far from satisfying – explanation for why the outages happened, writes John Hamilton.

Egypt
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Former Lundin Energy executives denied charges of any complicity in Sudanese atrocities as their trial opened in early September, with hearings in the Stockholm District Court that fit into a growing trend for prosecutors to target companies and senior personnel for war crimes and similar outrages, no matter when they were committed, writes Chris Stephen in Stockholm.

South Sudan | Sudan
Free

Canada’s Ivanhoe Mines is expanding its use of hydroelectric power (HEP) wheeled across state utility Société Nationale d’Electricité (Snel)’s grid to support its mining activities in Democratic Republic of Congo’s Haut-Katanga province, which include the world-scale Kamoa-Kakula copper mine.

DR Congo
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Washington has added to its support for the Lobito Corridor by backing a new spur to north-western Zambia. With Brussels now also on board, western efforts to counter Chinese influence over critical minerals are gathering pace.

DR Congo | Angola | Zambia | Tanzania
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A joint venture of British engineering firm Enshore Subsea and Belgian hydraulic specialist Herbosch Kiere has been awarded a $200m engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build 17.5km of 220kV land and submarine lines from Bel Air in Dakar to Cap des Biches.

Senegal
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Revised in September 2023, this map provides a detailed view of the power sector in DR Congo. The locations of power generation facilities that are operating, under construction or planned are shown by type – including liquid fuels, natural gas, coal, hybrid, hydroelectricity, solar PV and methane. Generation sites are marked with different sized circles to show sites of 1-9MW, 10-99MW, 100-499MW and 500MW and above. An inset shows the Inga hydroelectric power (HEP) projects in detail, with notes. Two other small insets show in greater detail Kinshasa and the region to the north east and the area south of Lake Kivu. A further inset illustrates proposals for  a 400kV transmission network. A small chart shows installed, available and annual peak power capacity over the period 2020-2022. Existing and future transmission and distribution lines are shown ranging from 132kV and under to 500kV+. Actual and planned cross-border interconnectors are also shown including lines to Angola, Congo B, Tanzania and Zambia. Power generation data was drawn from our African Energy Live Data platform, which contains project level detail on power plants and projects across Africa. The map is presented as a PDF file using eps graphics, meaning that there is no loss of resolution as the file is enlarged.  

DR Congo