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Issue 418 - 26 June 2020

DR Congo offers grid masterplan

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President Felix Tshisekedi has announced plans for a masterplan to integrate Africa’s power grids to create a single African electricity market. Speaking on 22 June at the launch of a videoconference on the Grand Inga project, he said such a masterplan, to be drawn up by the African Union and African Development Bank, with the support of African governments, would help underpin the financial viability of the ambitious 40GW scheme. An integrated African power market is already among the AU’s ambitions, but Tshisekedi is hoping to move the project forward with Inga as a hub.

DR Congo
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The Project Coordination and Management Unit (UCM) of the Ministry of Water Resources and Electricity invites bids by 17 July for the extension of the Lungudi hydropower plant in Tshikapa in the south- western province of Kasai. The Lungudi 2 project is be financed by the African Development Bank group as part of the Governance Improvement and Access to Electricity Sector Project.

DR Congo
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The Ministry of Energy has awarded two contracts for projects within the framework of the private sector-based access expansion component of the World Bank-financed Electricity Access and Services Expansion programme. A consortium of the US-based National Rural Electric Cooperative Association International, Spain’s MRC Consultants and local engineering consultancy VSI Afrique has been awarded a $1.2m contract to develop a national geospatial plan for least-cost electrification of the country by 2040, accompanied by an implementation strategy and an investment prospectus for 2021-25.

DR Congo
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PowerChina is in talks with the Congolese authorities on the construction of an industrial park in the Kongo Central region where the Inga dam is located and a deep-water port at Banana on the Atlantic Ocean, to process and export bauxite, alumina and other products, according to minister of industry Julien Paluku. PowerChina subsidiary Sinohydro is already part of the consortium selected by the DRC government to build the Inga III project, while the talks on the port are in line with President Felix Tshisekedi’s aim to reduce the role of Dubai’s DP World.

DR Congo
Issue 410 - 27 February 2020

DR Congo: GE MoU, Inga rehabilitation

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The government and General Electric (GE) on 13 February announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in infrastructure projects. The three-year MoU is focused on increasing the supply of electrical energy and on health modernisation programmes with the aim of accelerating the economic and social development of the country, a statement said.The US has almost no private investment in DRC and the MoU has been seen as a gesture of support for the government of President Félix Tshisekedi and an attempt to loosen China’s stranglehold on big projects.

DR Congo
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Australia’s AVZ Minerals is to study the feasibility of refurbishing the Piana-Mwanga hydropower plant and associated grids to supply its planned lithium and tin mining operations. AVZ Minerals said on 15 January that its subsidiary AVZ Power had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Water Resources and Energy to examine the viability of re-commissioning the plant, which was built in 1933 to service the historic tin mine but closed in 1982 when operations ceased.

DR Congo
Subscriber

The DRC government has decided to recruit a new private-sector partner to develop a smaller, 4,800MW version of the Inga 3 hydro project on the Congo River. The decision is part of a new roadmap for the project discussed at a two-day workshop on the development of Inga 3 held in Abidjan on 13-14 January, with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and other financial partners. Discussions included a review of the project’s status, demand projections and the planned public-private partnership to develop it.

DR Congo
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President Felix Tshisekedi outlined a number of electricity projects in his first state of the nation address on 13 December. Tshisekedi, who took office in January, said his government had started talks with international doors, seeking support for power projects. Plans to develop Inga 3 as an 11,000MW project have been stalled by the inability of the Chinese and European developers to form a single consortium to develop the project. Tshisekedi suggested building a single dam on the Congo River and steadily adding turbines to reach 4,800MW, 7,500MW, and finally 11,000MW or more.

DR Congo
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Local mini-grid solar provider Nuru expects to commission a 1.3MW solar plant in Goma in early January and aims to generate 8MW of power by the end of 2020 and supply power to 5m people in Democratic Republic of Congo by September 2024.Nuru chief executive and co-founder Jonathan Shaw moved to Béni in 2013 as a history professor. Faced with a local diesel generator suppling only three to four hours of power a day and regular voltage spikes of 400V, he installed a solar home system.

DR Congo
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Changes of president in Luanda and Kinshasa have not so far delivered any progress in the long-running maritime border dispute between the two countries, but Congolese experts say they are hopeful of movement in the coming months to agree a common border and obtain United Nations approval for it.President Felix Tshisekedi has said he hopes to exploit deep-water oil resources to finance his development plans and fund his free education pledge.

DR Congo | Angola
Issue 401 - 11 October 2019

Eni pursues Congo ambitions

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An announcement from Eni saying chief executive Claudio Descalzi met Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Félix Tshisekedi on 13 September in Kinshasa gave little away, saying only that they discussed forest conservation initiatives and Descalzi outlined prospects for projects to improve electricity distribution infrastructure.However, sources in Kinshasa told African Energy the talks covered the Inga III development, oil and gas exploration blocks in eastern Congo, and prospects for supplying power to the DRC mining sector from a planned expansion to the Centrale Electrique du Congo (CEC) gas-fired power plant in Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo.

DR Congo | Congo Brazzaville
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Mauritius-based Tembo Power has outlined plans for the construction of five hydropower plants in the Lubudi area of Lualaba province with a combined generation capacity of over 70MW. The project, which would cost an estimated $300m, aims to improve power supply to miners in the Copperbelt region. Tembo DRC chief operating officer John Nsana Kanyoni presented feasibility studies for the project to a workshop in Kinshasa on 28 June. The hydrological, geotechnical and environmental studies were carried out by Aurecon, which identified five sites along the Kalule Sud River, a tributary of the Lualaba River.

DR Congo
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Total has signalled its intention to pull out of Block III on the Congolese side of Lake Albert which is up for renewal. Its South African partner Efora Energy said the licence had been extended to July 2019 for the remaining partners to carry out a review of the technical data to decide what part of the licence to relinquish. Total E&P RDC previously held 66.7% in Block III. Johannesburg-listed Efora now has the option to increase its working interest to 42.5%.

DR Congo
Free

Leaked national electoral commission data showed Martin Fayulu had Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidency stolen from him in the 23 December poll won by Félix Tshisekedi Tshilombo. Ex-president Joseph Kabila Kabange’s candidate Emmanuel Shadary gained only 23.8% of the official vote – and unofficially much less – but politicians allied to now senator-for-life Kabila have since taken a dominant position in national and local government and parastatals.

DR Congo
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The Export-Import Bank of India has extended three lines of credit (LOCs) worth a total of $83.11m to finance the installation of three solar photovoltaic power projects with a total capacity of 35MW. The agreements were signed on 17 March in New Delhi during the CII-Exim Bank Conclave on India Africa Project Partnership, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank).

DR Congo