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Issue 353 - 15 September 2017

DR Congo: Zongo II start-up

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The 150MW Zongo II dam in Kongo Central province has started supplying an initial 37MW to the grid. A formal inauguration is planned for December. The project was built by Sinohydro and financed by a $360m loan from the Export-Import Bank of China. Visiting the site on 2 September, energy and water resources minister Ingele Ifoto said the plant would significantly improve supply to Kinshasa and Kongo Central. According to a project engineer from Société Nationale d’Electricité (Snel), the dam, power house and return channel are almost 100% complete.

DR Congo
Issue 353 - 15 September 2017

DRC/Uganda: Interconnection plan

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Uganda in mid-August signed a memorandum of understanding to build a high-voltage electricity interconnection with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This would allow Uganda to sell power to eastern Congo, using surplus generated by new hydropower dams, energy minister Irene Muloni said. The transmission line would run some 350km from a substation in Fort Portal to Beni, Bunia and Butembo in eastern DRC.

DR Congo | Uganda
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The Supreme Court of Justice has ruled in favour of Kivu Lake Energy Corporation (KLEC) in its case against the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the prime minister and the Ministry of Hydrocarbons. On 27 July, it ordered the suspension of the ministry’s provisional award of a concession for exploitation of Lake Kivu’s methane resources to a consortium of Tunisia’s Engineering Procurement & Project Management (EPPM), Swede Energy DRC and Kenya’s TransCentury. A final decision on KLEC’s application for the definitive annulment of the award is still pending.

DR Congo
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The Ministry of Energy and Water Resources invites expressions of interest by 31 July from qualified consultants to assist with the rehabilitation and expansion of the Mobayi-Mbongo hydropower plant on the Ubangi River. The contract, which is to be financed by the World Bank’s International Development Association under the Electricity Access and Service Expansion Project, entails the preparation of detailed design and economic and financial feasibility studies for the rehabilitation and expansion of the hydropower plant as well as preparation of tender documents for the rehabilitation works and supervision of the project.

DR Congo
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A month after inviting the Spanish and Chinese consortia competing to build the 4,800MW Inga 3 hydropower dam on the Congo River to merge their offers into a single bid, the head of the Agency for the Development and Promotion of Grand Inga (ADPI), Bruno Kapandji Kalala, has said the project’s start date has been postponed by four years to 2024 or 2025. “We are working for this timing (in 2024 or 2025) now that the potential developer has been identified,” he told Reuters on 3 July.

DR Congo
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Facing a range of problems surrounding their bids, the two remaining consortia looking to lead construction of the Inga 3 hydroelectric dam have been asked to merge, the Kinshasa-based Agency for the Development and Promotion of Grand Inga (ADPI-RDC) said on 13 June. The two groups are the ProInga consortium led by Spain’s ACS Servicios, Comunicaciones y Energia and Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios, and Chine d’Inga 3 led by China Three Gorges Corporation.

DR Congo
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The cities of Lodja, Lomela and Lusambo in Sankuru province will benefit from three solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants generating a combined total of 20MW by year-end, following a memorandum of understanding signed on 13 April in Kinshasa. The agreement was signed by Société Nationale d’Electricité (Snel) chairman Makombo Monga Mawawi and SolarPark Korea director general Hyunwoo Park. According to Snel director-general Eric Mbala Musenda, it will only take two months to install the PV equipment at the three sites.

DR Congo
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Société Nationale d’Electricité (Snel) signed a provisional agreement with Eskom in April to import 200MW of power for mining companies in Katanga. The utilities signed a term sheet outlining the main points for a 200MW contract, with a view to concluding a renewable, five-year power-supply agreement soon.Katanga chairman of the Fédération des Entreprises du Congo (FEC) business association Eric Monga Mumba Sombe Sombe told African Energy that additional capacity would be transmitted to Snel through the Zambian grid.

DR Congo
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The Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) has issued general procurement notices for detailed techno-economic feasibility studies for the Kolwezi-Solwezi and Zambia-Mozambique power interconnector projects, to be financed with a grant from the African Development Bank. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (IPPF) approved grants worth $3.88m in March for transmission interconnections between Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, and between Zambia and Mozambique.

Mozambique | DR Congo | Zambia
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Lake Kivu methane specialist Michel Halbwachs has taken on a new methane to power project in Democratic Republic of Congo, with a new company, Limnological Engineering. Halbwachs, whose Rwandan project collapsed following an intellectual property dispute between his former company, Data Environnement, and Rwanda Investment Group, has been recruited by a consortium that was awarded a block on the Congolese side of Lake Kivu last year. The consortium is made up of Tunisia’s Engineering Procurement and Project Management (EPPM), Swede Energy DRC and Kenya’s Transcentury Ltd.

DR Congo | Rwanda
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Bids submitted in September 2016 by Spanish-led and Chinese groups to build the Inga 3 hydropower dam have yet to be opened, well-placed sources in Kinshasa told African Energy. There is speculation that the government might support moves for the two consortia to work together, as has been suggested by Agence pour le Développement et la Promotion de Grand Inga head Bruno Kapandji Kalala, the official charged by President Joseph Kabila Kabange to deliver the project

DR Congo
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The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (IPPF) on 6 March approved grants worth $3.88m for transmission interconnections between Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, and between Zambia and Mozambique. The grants will support the completion of feasibility studies and the preparation of tender documents for the construction of the 330-400kV interconnections.

Mozambique | DR Congo | Zambia
Issue 341 - 02 March 2017

DR Congo: Fears over Inga output

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Société Nationale d’Electricité (Snel) chief executive Eric Mbala Musanda has expressed concern about low water levels in the Congo River, warning that dry season power supply from the Inga dam will be affected unless it rains heavily in the next two months. Mbala told a news conference in Kinshasa in early February that the water level at Inga was unusually low, below 150 metres above sea level. He warned of lower power output during the dry season between June and September because there would not be enough water to allow the turbines to operate.

DR Congo
Free

the 31 December deal between opposition parties and Joseph Kabila Kabange, brokered by the Roman Catholic Bishops Conference and supported by the international community, should lead to elections by year-end and the president’s eventual departure. This would do much to clarify Democratic Republic of Congo’s future direction, from developing the Inga dam to establishing a path of improved governance and economic recovery (AE 325/22, 320/1).

DR Congo
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UN-sponsored Radio Okapi reported on 5 February that the International Court of Arbitration of the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce had declared that the government’s cancellation of an exploration agreement with the local Générale Pétrolière du Congo (Gepeco) was “faulty, ineffective and unfounded”. Gepeco signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on 12 October 2011 for oil exploration in the Tanganyika Graben. The government cancelled the MoU without warning in April 2012, and Gepeco took the case to the court in November 2013.

DR Congo