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President Felix Tshisekedi Tshilombo launched an emergency investment programme in Kinshasa on 2 March, focused mainly on improving the country’s road infrastructure, but also covering energy, education, housing, employment, transport, health, water and agriculture. According to a 78-page report detailing the projects, the state will provide up to $488m of funding, of which $183.2m is earmarked for work on roads. Some $20m of the total is earmarked for the electricity sector – $18.37m from the Treasury and $1.62m from the Industry Promotion Fund.

DR Congo
Issue 384 - 17 January 2019

DR Congo/Kenya/Rwanda: BBOXX investment

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Off-grid solar company BBOXX announced on 13 January that Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), part of Old Mutual Alternative Investments, has agreed an investment of $31m to acquire a minority stake in BBOXX’s operating companies in Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Rwanda. The investment was made by AIIM’s African Infrastructure Investment Fund 3 and will allow the BBOXX companies to install 2m solar systems by 2022. AIIM chief executive Jurie Swart said the deal reflected the maturity of the off-grid sector as well as BBOXX’s ambition.

Kenya | DR Congo | Rwanda
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Elections on 23 December are unlikely to deliver the change Democratic Republic of Congo so badly needs. The outlook is deteriorating as polling day approaches, following deaths at rallies in support of opposition candidate Martin Fayulu, and an apparently deliberate fire in Kinshasa that destroyed controversial voting machines. Fears have been expressed that the elections will be far from free and fair, potentially stoking further conflict as President Joseph Kabila Kabange – who has been in power since 2001 – seeks to hold on to state institutions via his hand-picked successor, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.

DR Congo
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The Ministry of Energy and Water Resources invites expressions of interest by 12 December from consultants to assist with the electrification of a number of provincial capitals and other communities through the installation of solar photovoltaic systems.

DR Congo
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Luxembourg-based Eurasian Resources Group has concluded power supply arrangements for its Frontier copper mine on the border between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Eurasian announced on 26 November that a contract had been signed with Société Nationale d’Electricité (Snel), DRC commercial bank Rawbank and Zambia’s Zesco, which will supply 41MW. Frontier is an open-cast mine with facilities to produce copper sulphide concentrate, treating over 10m t/yr of copper sulphide ore.

DR Congo | Zambia
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Energie des Grands Lacs (EGL), the energy agency of the three-nation Great Lakes Economic Community (CEPGL), invites prequalification applications by 26 November to support the development of the Ruzizi III hydropower plant on the Ruzizi River, which forms the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda. The 147MW run-of-river project will be financed, built and operated by a consortium in a public-private partnership under a 25-year concession.

DR Congo | Rwanda | Burundi
Issue 379 - 26 October 2018

DR Congo: Inga agreement

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The Agence pour le Développement et la Promotion du Projet Grand Inga (ADPI-DRC) signed an agreement on 16 October with Chinese and Spanish consortia for the 11,000MW Inga III project. The exclusive development agreement establishes the terms for cooperation in the implementation of the $14bn Inga III project, and sets the terms for the implementation and environmental studies to be financed by the consortia, a presidency statement said.

DR Congo
Issue 379 - 26 October 2018

DR Congo: Funding for green mini-grids

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The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved a proposal by the African Development Bank (AfDB) for a $20m senior loan and $1m grant for a green mini-grid programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The AfDB is matching the package, bringing the combined funding to $42m. The loans will finance three pilot solar photovoltaic and battery-powered mini-grids with diesel back-up expected to cost a combined $87m to develop, according to the project documents.

DR Congo
Issue 377 - 28 September 2018

DR Congo: BBOXX partners with GE

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Off-grid solar company BBOXX and General Electric (GE) announced the launch of a partnership in the Democratic Republic of Congo on 25 September. BBOXX expanded into the country earlier this year, forming a partnership with Victron Energy to supply larger solar systems to businesses in Goma as well as trialling mini-grids. In June, BBOXX signed an agreement with the government to roll out 300,000-400,000 solar systems over five years.

DR Congo
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Virunga Energy invites bids by 17 October for the supply of two 627-metre-long penstocks for the 12.4MW Lubero hydropower project in Ivingu, North Kivu province. The contract is financed by the ACP-EU partnership. Separate contracts will be tendered for construction of civil works including water intake, a head pond and a powerhouse to comprise two Pelton turbines as well as a 33kV and 400V distribution network.

DR Congo
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A report by a group of Congolese NGOs has highlighted concerns about the opaque ownership and financing of the 240MW Busanga hydropower project near Kolwezi in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The hydro project has been under construction in Lualaba province since 2016, primarily to supply Sino-Congolese mining venture Sicomines, which needs an additional 170MW to run its Kolwezi plant at full capacity and double production to 250,000 t/yr of copper.

DR Congo
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The World Bank Group (WBG) on 22 August debarred Slovenia’s Flycom for making corrupt payments in connection with a project in Democratic Republic of Congo. The infrastructure services company was debarred for 18 months from working for the WBG and four other major multilaterals for engaging in corrupt practices linked to the Southern Africa Power Market Project.

DR Congo
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A cabinet meeting in Kinshasa has agreed to open up parts of the Virunga and Salonga national parks to oil and gas exploration. The decision was made on 8 June, but not made public until three weeks later. According to an official communiqué, the Council of Ministers authorised hydrocarbons minister Aimé Ngoy Mukena and his environment and sustainable development counterpart Amy Ambatobe to establish an interministerial committee to prepare the declassification of areas of the Salonga National Park covered by Block 2 of the Cuvette Centrale Basin.

DR Congo
Issue 372 - 29 June 2018

DR Congo: Zongo II inaugurated

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President Joseph Kabila on 22 June formally inaugurated the 150MW Zongo II hydropower plant on the Congo River in Kongo Central province.

DR Congo
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UK-based off-grid utility BBOXX announced on 7 June that it has signed an agreement with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that will see the company provide power to 2.5m people. BBOXX began operations alongside energy system supplier Victron Energy in Goma, on the border with Rwanda, earlier this year and will expand its operations in the city, as well as Bukavu at the southern end of Lake Kivu and the capital Kinshasa, where it has partnered with Orange Energie.

DR Congo