World Bank provides additional funds for DR Congo power system

The World Bank has approved a second additional financing grant of US$12 million to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for emergency rehabilitation of critical infrastructure, including the DRC hydropower system.

The initial emergency program, approved in 2002, was to help the DRC rehabilitate critical infrastructure, rebuild agricultural production, restore social services, and strengthen government capacity. Included in the program was rehabilitation of six hydro projects and their transmission systems: 2.2-MW Mpozo, 108-MW Nzilo (HNN 10/22/07) , 248-MW Nseke (or Seke), 69-MW Mwadingusha (HNN 8/29/06), 350-MW Inga 1, and 1,424-MW Inga 2 (HNN 12/11/07) (HNN 10/24/07).

A first additional grant provided in November 2005 filled a US$125 million shortfall in funding by the bank’s International Development Association. The second additional grant provided December 18 is to help cover cost overruns during implementation in the electricity sector and project execution contracts. The grant is to ensure activities are completed by the project closing date.

The World Bank Board also said the operation funded by the grant would act as a bridge between the post-conflict emergency phase of the infrastructure work and a strategic longer-term approach.

That approach includes a US$296.7 million grant to DRC in May for rehabilitation of the Inga hydroelectric complex on the Congo River. (HNN 5/30/07) That money is to help pay for rehabilitation of the hydro plants, construction of a second transmission line to DRC capital Kinshasa, and rehabilitation and extension of the distribution network in Kinshasa.

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