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Issue 340 - 16 February 2017

Gertler sells mining assets to Glencore

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Israeli businessman Dan Gertler has sold his stakes in two cobalt and copper mines to Glencore in a $960m deal. Glencore will buy Gertler’s 31% stake in Mutanda Mining and his 10% stake in Katanga Mining, both of which are held through his Fleurette Properties. Glencore will pay $534m in cash to Fleurette, once outstanding debt is deducted, giving it 100% of Mutanda and 86% of Katanga.

DR Congo
Issue 339 - 02 February 2017

Sapp to finance Luapula hydro study

Subscriber

The Southern African Power Pool project advisory unit (Sapp-PAU) is evaluating expressions of interest from consultants for a detailed bankable feasibility study for the construction of a 627MW hydropower station on the Luapula River and associated transmission lines to evacuate the power to both Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo (AE 335/10). Sapp-PAU senior transaction adviser Omar Vajeth said the unit would issue a request for proposals to the shortlisted bidders. Zambia’s Zesco and DRC’s Société Nationale d’Electricité (Snel) asked the Sapp Coordination Centre (Sapp-CC) to help them develop the project, following an intergovernmental memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in July 2015 by Zambia and DRC, along with an inter-utility MoU between Zesco and Snel.

DR Congo | Zambia
Issue 338 - 19 January 2017

DR Congo: Mwadingusha refurbishment

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Société Nationale d’Electricité (Snel) has given a consortium led by Austria’s Andritz Hydro a contract for refurbishment of the Mwadingusha hydropower plant on the Lufira River in the southern province of Katanga. The scope of supply comprises replacement of four turbine units, generators, governors, inlet valves, exciters, voltage regulation, and draft tube stop logs, including dismantling, erection and commissioning, the equipment supplier disclosed on 16 January. The new turbines have almost 10% more output than the original units, which were commissioned in 1928 and manufactured by Charmilles, a predecessor of Andritz Hydro.

DR Congo
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Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are advancing with long-standing plans to develop the hydropower potential of the Luapula River. In early November, the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) invited expressions of interest from consultants to carry out a detailed bankable feasibility study for the proposed Luapula River Hydroelectric Scheme on the border between the two countries. Bids were due by 25 November. The SAPP Project Advisory Unit is acting as the implementing agent for the project on behalf of Zambia’s Zesco and DRC’s Société Nationale d’Electricité. In July 2015 the two countries signed an intergovernmental memorandum of understanding (MoU) and an inter-utility MoU to expedite the project.

DR Congo | Zambia
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Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on 4 October for joint exploration and development of hydrocarbons in Lake Tanganyika. The MoU was signed by DRC petroleum and gas minister Aimé Ngoy Mukena and Tanzanian energy and minerals minister Sospeter Muhongo at a ceremony at State House in Dar es Salaam attended by President John Magufuli and his DRC counterpart Joseph Kabila. “We have already discovered oil in the western parts of Lake Albert, and there’s a great possibility that there’s also oil in Lake Tanganyika, therefore, joint exploration is the way to go for mutual benefits,” the Citizen newspaper quoted Kabila as saying.

DR Congo | Tanzania
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The Mwadingusha hydropower plant on the Lufira River has begun supplying power to the national grid after the completion of rehabilitation work on the first of six turbine generators at the plant. Electricity from the 11MW unit will support development and exploration work at Kamoa, which is considered to be the world’s largest undeveloped high-grade copper deposit, Ivanhoe Mines announced on 13 September. Modernisation of Mwadingusha’s five other units is under way, it said. Once completed it is expected to restore Mwadingusha to its original installed capacity of about 71MW, the mining group added, without disclosing the scheduled completion date.

DR Congo
Issue 331 - 04 October 2016

DR Congo: Bids in for Inga 3

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Two consortia submitted bids for the Inga 3 Basse Chute project on 3 September. The bidders are Groupement Chine d’Inga, made up of China Three Gorges International Corporation, Sinohydro, State Grid International Development Company, Changjiang Institute of Survey Planning Design and Research, China Gezhouba Group Company and Dongfang Electric Corporation, and Groupement ProInga, led by Spain’s Actividades de Construcción y Servicios with Spain’s Eurofinsa and AEE Power, Andritz Hydro of Germany, Brazil’s Andrade Gutierrez and China National Electric Engineering Company.

DR Congo
Issue 330 - 16 September 2016

DR Congo: Methane plans hit snag

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The award of a first methane gas concession on Lake Kivu has run into problems following a legal challenge to the licence award. Kivu Lake Energy Corporation (KLEC), which came out top in the bid adjudication in February, challenged a decision by the Ministry of Hydrocarbons to award a provisional construction licence to a consortium led by Tunisia’s Engineering Procurement and Project Management (EPPM), Swede Energy DRC and Kenya’s TransCentury.

DR Congo
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Minister of energy and water resources Jeannot Matadi Nenga signed a concession agreement on 23 August with Sino-Congolese joint venture Sicohydro for the construction of the 240MW Busanga hydropower station on the Lualaba River.The total cost of the project is estimated at $617m, including $567m for the dam and power station and $50m for the transmission lines. Construction is expected to take five years.

DR Congo
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The World Bank Group announced on 25 July that it had suspended disbursements of funding to the Inga-3 Basse Chute and Mid-Size Hydropower Development Technical Assistance (TA) Project. “This follows the government of DRC’s decision to take the project in a different strategic direction to that agreed between the World Bank and the government in 2014,” the bank said. The decision follows the announcement of a new timetable for bidding on the scheme ordered by President Joseph Kabila Kabange.

DR Congo
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The African Development Bank on 7 July announced that it had approved an $11m grant to improve access to electricity in the North Kivu and South Kivu provinces, where only between 4% and 7% of people are believed to have access to electricity. The grant is part of the wider Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme (Nelsap), covering Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. Work in DRC will include construction of a 95km, 220kV transmission line connecting Goma to Bukavu and the Buandahanda substation as well as a 13km, 220kV line from Goma to Gisenyi and the Goma substation.

DR Congo
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Officials in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are making bullish noises about the much-anticipated Inga 3 hydroelectric power project, with the bidding whittled down to two consortia, which officials say are expected to present their final offers by 31 July, for contracts to be signed by year-end. Veteran energy official Bruno Kapandji Kalala – appointed by President Joseph Kabila Kabange to head the Agence pour le Développement et la Promotion du Projet Grand Inga (ADPI-RDC), the unit within the president’s office charged with delivering the Grand Inga project – has set out a roadmap for the project’s implementation and revealed changes to the bidding consortia.

DR Congo
Free

Total has completed the acquisition of 244km of 2D seismic over the northern part of Block III. Partner SacOil said the seismic survey did not encroach on the Virunga National Park. The next step will be to process and interpret the seismic data, and integrate the results with the previously acquired gravity and magnetic data, SacOil said.

DR Congo
Issue 325 - 10 June 2016

DR Congo: Major investor pulls out

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One of the largest and most resilient investors in Democratic Republic of Congo, US minerals giant Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX), has announced the sale of its Tenke Fungurume copper and cobalt mine in Katanga to China Molybdenum Company in a $2.65bn deal. Poor economics may finally have persuaded FCX to pull out of DRC, having survived intense political pressure during the years of President Joseph Kabila Kabange’s mining review. The government was not informed before FCX’s 9 May announcement.

DR Congo
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Opposition senators have questioned the legitimacy of deals signed with South Africa establishing the Agence pour le Développement et la Promotion du Projet Grand Inga (ADPI) to oversee the Grand Inga hydroelectric project, and consolidating South Africa’s role as the scheme’s anchor partner. President Joseph Kabila Kabange signed a decree establishing ADPI last October, and appointed former electricity minister Bruno Kapandji Kalala to head the new agency, working out of the presidency.

DR Congo