DR Congo seeks environmental-social studies of 4,800-MW Inga 3, mid-sized hydro projects

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) invites expressions of interest from consultants to perform environmental and social studies of the 4,800-MW Inga 3 Basse Chute hydroelectric project on the Congo River, mid-sized hydro projects and a related transmission line. Responses are due May 22.

The DRC received a US$73.1 million technical assistance grant from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) for the Inga 3 Basse Chute (Lower Falls) project, advancement of three mid-sized (10- to 100-MW) hydro projects and an Inga-Kolwezi-Zambia border transmission line. IDA is providing US$47.5 million of its grant to support environmental and social support on Inga 3 and US$25.6 million to support the mid-sized hydro projects, while the African Development Bank is providing US$33.4 million for that purpose on Inga 3.

The 350-MW Inga 1 and 1,424-MW Inga 2 hydroelectric projects currently are undergoing refurbishment. Additionally, the proposed 4,800-MW Inga 3 project is considered a step toward development of a 40,000-MW Grand Inga hydroelectric complex.

Inga 3 Basse Chute is to include a 12-kilometer canal diverting about one-sixth of the flow from the Congo River into the parallel Bundi Valley, where a 100-meter-tall roller-compacted-concrete dam on the Bundi River would create a reservoir to supply an 11-unit powerhouse. In the future the height of the dam could be raised under an Inga 3 Haute Chute project.

About 1,000 MW of project power would be sold to national utility Societe Nationale d’Electricite (SNEL), which will resell it to homes and businesses in the Kinshasa area. To enable financing of the project, power also would be sold to “anchor customers” — 1,300 MW to mining companies in Katanga Province and 2,500 MW to South Africa utility ESKOM.

Additionally, to ensure parallel increases in electricity service to urban and rural areas across the country, the program includes support for development of three mid-sized hydropower projects. That work involves narrowing 62 potential projects of from 10 MW to 100 MW to a list of 30 projects. From those, three projects would be selected for feasibility studies and preparation of bidding documents for eventual award of concessions to private developers.

The water resources and electricity ministry, Ministere des Ressources Hydrauliques et de l’Electricite, now invites expressions of interest from consultants to implement environmental and social studies of the project work.

Work is to include: environmental and social impact assessments of Inga 3 Basse Chute and the Inga-Kolwezi-Zambia border transmission line; resettlement plans for people affected by Inga 3, for those affected by the transmission line, and for those in Camp Kinshasa displaced by the Inga 1 and 2 projects; community development for those affected by Inga 1 and 2; and a framework for managing cultural resources.

The environmental and social impact assessment of Inga 3 also is to assess potential cumulative impacts of developments at the Inga site after completion of Inga 3.

Expressions of interest, in French are due by mail or e-mail to the address below by May 22. Responses are to be labeled “AMI/001/MinRHE/CG13/DPM.JSNM/2014/SC – Consultant (cabinet ou consortium) charge realisation d’un ensemble d’etudes environnmentales et sociales relatives au projet mentionne ci-dessus et en particulier au developpement de la composante amenagement hydro-electrique Inga 3 BC et de la composante ligne de transport Inga-Kolwezi-frontiere zambienne.”

For information, contact Ministere des Ressources Hydrauliques et de l’Electricite, Cellule le Gestion du Projet Inga 3, CGI 3, Attn.: Monsieur Diayele Watekidila, Immeuble William’s Residence/Kinshasa-Gombe/RDC, Adresse 29/31 Avenue Roi Baudouin (ex Trois Z) – Kinshasa/Gombe, Democratic Republic of Congo; (243) 84-4687751; E-mail: diayele@yahoo.fr.

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