Donor roundtable convenes to advance DRC’s Inga complex

Backed by African development organizations, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) convened an international roundtable October 5-6 to advance donor interest in developing the giant Inga hydroelectric complex on the DRC’s Congo River.

More than 60 representatives of governments, international organizations, public and private sectors, donor agencies, development partners, and non-governmental organizations were expected to participate in the Johannesburg roundtable. The gathering was supported by the African Development Bank, African Union, and the Secretariat of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

DRC Energy Minister Salomon Baliene said in June it is time to seek investors to fund a 40,000-MW Inga complex at a cost of US$40 billion. (HNN 6/7/06) The governments of DRC, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa have formed the Western Corridor Power Project (Westcor), which envisions Inga as the anchor for a grid system to span the continent.

The roundtable seeks to inform donors, investors, and potential consumers of the project’s potential, and to register declarations of interest from investors and potential customers. It also is to seek views of development partners and interested parties in the orientation of a planned feasibility study for further development of the Inga site.

The World Bank is seeking consultants to evaluate the financial feasibility of developing an Inga 3 hydroelectric project, estimated at up to 3,500 MW. (HNN 9/29/06)

The DRC also recently called for consultants to guide the rehabilitation of the existing Inga complex. The 350-MW Inga 1 and 1,424-MW Inga 2 plants produce a total of only 500 MW due to lack of maintenance.

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