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Plans are moving ahead for a new refinery to be built in Pointe-Noire’s special economic zone (SEZ), according to hydrocarbons minister Jean-Marc Thystère Tchicaya, following an agreement signed with a Chinese company identified as Beijing Fortune Dingheng Investment. Ministry of Hydrocarbons downstream projects adviser Alphonse Obami said: “According to our estimates, it is very probable that the work on this second refinery will start in Q1 2021.”

DR Congo
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Ruzizi III Energy invites prequalification bids by 15 February 2021 for the engineering, procurement and construction of the Ruzizi III regional hydropower project on the border between Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

DR Congo | Rwanda | Burundi
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CGG has signed an agreement with Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo and the Ministry of Hydrocarbons to acquire the industry’s first-ever multi-client airborne gravity and magnetic survey of the onshore Cuvette Basin. The government hopes to attract new investment following the Ngoki discovery last year.

DR Congo
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Nigeria is proving to be a testing ground for trucking gas on African roads, while Circle Gas’s LPG-based cooking solution is building up a consumer base in Kenya and Tanzania. Africa remains a frontier market for ‘virtual pipelines’ and other innovative uses for gas, but business models are evolving to create some vibrant new industries, writes Jon Marks.

Nigeria | Kenya | Ghana | DR Congo | Tanzania
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Gridworks hopes its recently awarded concessions in DRC will demonstrate the case for larger-scale isolated grids in Africa. The company says the project offers the size and critical mass that is missing from most mini-grid models, which it hopes will create efficiencies and reduce costs, writes Dan Marks.

DR Congo
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The Ministry of Water Resources and Electricity has launched a two-stage tender for the selection of a private sector developer to build and operate under a long-term concession a 100MW-150MW hydropower station on the Nzilo 2 site on the Lualaba River.

DR Congo
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A consortium led by CDC Group’s Gridworks announced on 26 November that it had been selected as preferred bidder for the Essor Access to Electricity (A2E) Initiative in Democratic Republic of Congo. Gridworks has partnered with Eranove and AEE Power for the project.

DR Congo
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Société Nationale d’Electricité (Snel) says the Inga I and II hydropower plants could be restored to 90% capacity by year-end following turbine rehabilitation work. The 351MW capacity of Inga I was fully restored in mid-November following repairs to the G16 turbine which broke down in early October, cutting supply to Matadi, Boma, Muanda and Tshela in Kongo Central province. News reports quoted the plant’s interim manager, Serge Mbiyavanga, as saying a short-circuit had damaged the 58.5MW turbine.

DR Congo
Issue 427 - 19 November 2020

DR Congo: Parliament backs Sombwe hydro

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Parliament’s Environment, Tourism, Natural Resources and Development Committee has given its support to the 166MW Sombwe hydropower project being developed by Congolese company Kipay Investments in Upper Katanga province. The $500m project is being developed on the Lufira River, 30km downstream of the Kiubo Falls, 300km north of Kolwezi, to help to reduce a supply/demand gap in the Katanga region estimated at 1,000MW, including 270MW for Ivanhoe Mines. It will include a solar plant to be built by Kipay near the Fungurume substation to ensure uninterrupted supply.

DR Congo
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Shortly before its concession was due to run out on 18 November, Total has renewed its contract to run the Djeno oil terminal in a revised arrangement that is expected to bring new equity partners into Republic of Congo’s principal crude loading point. The agreement was reached during a visit by the French major’s chief executive, Patrick Pouyanné, for talks with President Denis Sassou Nguesso on 2 November in Oyo.

DR Congo
Issue 426 - 05 November 2020

World Bank debars Kalpataru, CEDRI

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The World Bank has announced debarments of India’s Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd and its regional subsidiaries and of China Electric Design and Research Institute (CEDRI). The bank said Kalpataru was sanctioned as a result of fraudulent practices when participating in the Southern African Power Market Project (SAPMP) in Democratic Republic of Congo, which rehabilitated and extended high-voltage power lines, and the Egypt Wind Power Development Project (EWPDP), which included developing transmission infrastructure.

DR Congo | Zambia
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The government has turned to a group of regional banks led by Libreville-based Groupe BGFIBank to provide some of the finance needed to repay its mounting domestic debt and pump funds into the ailing economy.

DR Congo
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Mauritius-based independent power producer Tembo Power says it is in negotiations with “one of the biggest offtakers in the Katanga provinces” to supply power from three hydropower projects it is developing in Democratic Republic of Congo.  

DR Congo
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The Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program of the Nile Basin Initiative invites expressions of interest from consultants by 7 October to update the feasibility study report, detailed design and tender documents for the Uganda-Democratic Republic of Congo Power Interconnection Line Project.

DR Congo | Uganda
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Germany’s Fichtner in consortium with France’s Nodalis Conseil and ISL Ingénierie have been awarded a contract worth €3.585m to act as consulting engineers for the 147 MW Ruzizi III hydropower project on the borders of Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

DR Congo | Rwanda | Burundi