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The Ministry of Energy and Water Resources has invited expressions of interest by 22 May from consultants to support the development of off-grid renewable energy projects. The contract is to be financed by the African Development Bank through the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa as part of a project to encourage the development of off-grid renewable energy networks.

DR Congo
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NGOs have expressed concerns over government plans to modify the borders of the Salonga and Virunga national parks to encourage oil exploration. Hydrocarbons minister Aimé Ngoi Mukena circulated two notes to ministers on 28 March detailing plans to declassify 2,767.5km2 of the Cuvette Centrale blocks 1 and 2, which cover 8.6% of the Salonga National Park, and 1,720.75km2 of Albertine Graben blocks 4 and 5 which cover 21.5% of the Virunga National Park (including 400km2 in Block 5 and the whole of Block 4).

DR Congo
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The energy ministers of Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Kinshasa on 5 April setting out a new timetable for a joint 1,000MW-1,400MW hydroelectric project involving several sites on the Luapula River.The MoU sets 2021 as the date for finalisation of the feasibility study and environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA), the launch of construction tenders and the award of the contract. The previous deadline was end-2018.

DR Congo | Zambia
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Project company Virunga Sarl is seeking bids for the supply of medium and low-voltage equipment to build a distribution network for the 12.18MW Lubero hydroelectric project in North Kivu province. Lubero, scheduled for completion next year, is one of several small hydro plants being developed in the Virunga National Park, run by a partnership between UK-based charity Virunga Foundation and national parks authority Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature.

DR Congo | Zambia
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In a fresh blow to the 40GW Grand Inga megaproject on the Congo River, the National Assembly has rejected legislation on the government agency overseeing the project. On 6 April, parliament rejected the Grand Inga bill by a show of hands. The draft decree had been approved by the government on 15 January but still needed parliamentary approval, as required by an international treaty on the project signed in 2013 between DRC and South Africa.

DR Congo
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Angolan energy and water minister João Baptista Borges held talks in Kinshasa on 28 February with his Congolese counterpart, Jean-Marie Ingele Foto. The two ministers discussed power supply options for Angola’s Cabinda enclave, which is cut off from the rest of Angola by DRC territory and thus cannot receive power from the Angolan grid.

DR Congo | Angola
Issue 364 - 01 March 2018

DR Congo: Nuclear MoU with Rosatom

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Russia’s Rosatom and Republic of Congo’s Ministry of Scientific Research and Technological Innovation signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on 13 February on cooperation in the peaceful use of atomic energy.The document was signed by Rosatom’s deputy director-general for international relations, Nikolay Spassky, and the Congolese ambassador to the Russian Federation, David Maduka.Rosatom said the MoU was the first agreement for peaceful use of atomic energy signed between the two countries.

DR Congo
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A 15 January cabinet meeting approved a draft decree on the status of the Agence pour le Développement et la Promotion du Projet Grand Inga (ADPI-RDC). The draft decree relates to the status, organisation and operation of the agency that was created in October 2015 to oversee the Grand Inga project. The 2015 decree describes ADPI-RDC as a special body within the Office of the President, and stipulates that ADPI-RDC determines the framework of the project, its launch, oversight measures, the selection of private partners and the award of concessions.

DR Congo
Issue 363 - 15 February 2018

DR Congo: Kabila signs Comico decree

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President Joseph Kabila signed a decree on 1 February approving a production-sharing agreement (PSA) for three blocks in the Cuvette Centrale Basin. The agreement was originally signed in 2007 between the Congolese state and the Comico-Cohydro joint venture of Compagnie Minière du Congo and the state-owned Congolaise des Hydrocarbures for the exploration and development of blocks 1, 2 and 3 of the basin.

DR Congo
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A decade-old production-sharing agreement (PSA) for three blocks in the Cuvette Centrale Basin has moved a step closer to approval with a new draft submitted to cabinet on 15 January. The PSA was originally signed on 21 December 2007 between the government and the Comico-Cohydro joint venture of Compagnie Minière du Congo and the state-owned Congolaise des Hydrocarbures for the exploration and development of blocks I, II and III of the Cuvette Centrale Basin.

DR Congo
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BBOXX on 11 January announced it was expanding operations in Democratic Republic of Congo through a partnership with Netherlands-based component manufacturer Victron Energy. The pair are targeting sales of large pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar systems in towns and cities across the country.The systems will use BBOXX’s PAYG model and Victron’s energy components. BBOXX already sells 50W systems in rural areas of Goma, which has a population of more than 1.5m and suffers frequent blackouts, but is hoping that its partnership with Victron will facilitate sales to urban businesses of larger, 0.5-5kW systems.

DR Congo
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The US Treasury on 21 December placed sanctions on Israeli businessman Dan Gertler, a close business associate of President Joseph Kabila whose substantial mining and oil interests in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have long been controversial. The Treasury said Gertler had amassed his fortune through hundreds of millions of dollars worth of opaque and corrupt mining and oil deals in the DRC.

DR Congo
Issue 355 - 12 October 2017

DR Congo: India committed to Katende dam

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Power adviser at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and former Central Electricity Authority executive Chandra Prakash has confirmed his government’s commitment to completing the 64MW Katende hydro project during a visit to the project site from 19 to 22 September.Prakash reassured his hosts that Indian parastatal National Projects Construction Corporation (NPCC) would complete the Katende dam on the Lulua River in Kasai Central province and the smaller 10.5 MW Kakobola dam on the Lukufu River in Kwilu province.

DR Congo
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Virunga National Park expects to reach its goal of installing 30MW of hydro capacity to supply power to local communities by the end of 2019 and intends to install a total of 60MW of power to complete its hydro programme. The public-private partnership which runs the park that extends along Democratic Republic of Congo’s borders with Rwanda and Uganda is on course to complete the 12.4MW Lubero hydro plant by mid-2019.

DR Congo
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Democratic Republic of Congo boasts massive energy generation potential from hydro, wind or solar, but the traditional approach of evaluating hundreds of prospective hydro sites across the country looks increasingly flawed. Overcoming the chronic shortage of available generation capacity is most likely to be achieved by focusing on relatively modest projects located close to key load centres, and using a variety of technologies, rather than by developing the massive Inga or other large-scale hydro schemes.

DR Congo