Canada firm to develop DRC’s 130-MW Zongo 2

MagEnergy Inc., a unit of Canadian magnesium producer MagIndustries Corp., has signed an agreement to develop the 100- to 130-MW Zongo 2 hydroelectric project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

MagEnergy, which already is rehabilitating units of the 1,424-MW Inga 2 hydroelectric project on the Congo River, said February 21 it signed the agreement with the Ministry of Energy. (HNN 7/7/06) It said the agreement is in line with MagEnergy’s plans to be an independent power producer, and the DRC’s plans for public-private partnerships to develop the country’s energy resources.

The Zongo 2 site is near the aging 80-MW Zongo project on the Inkisi River 80 kilometers southwest of Kinshasa. MagEnergy said it has been the subject of previous technical studies.

The company said it named SNC-Lavalin to conduct a scoping study that will include review of existing technical studies. The study is expected to include a review of civil engineering, hydro-mechanical, electrical, and environmental issues.

If study results are favorable, MagEnergy said it could proceed with a full feasibility study of the project. It said it would build, own, and operate the project as an independent power producer, in technical partnership with DRC national utility Societe Nationale d’Electricite (SNEL). Power would be transmitted on the SNEL grid.

In partnership with Industrial Development Corp. of South Africa, MagEnergy is refurbishing five turbines of Inga 2. It also has agreed to build the 300- to 350-MW Busanga hydroelectric project on the Lualaba River in Katanga Province. (HNN 5/23/06)

MagEnergy said the DRC has rapidly growing internal energy requirements, particularly due to the rejuvenation of its mining industry. MagIndustries is developing the 60,000-ton-per-year Kouilou Magnesium Project in neighboring Pointe Noire, Congo Republic (CR).

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