The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) might provide 2 500 megawatts of power to South Africa, Botswana and Namibia under a revised plan to build the Inga III hydropower plant, an official said.
The government would host a meeting next month to discuss three bids from companies including Sinohydro of China and Pohang Iron and Steel Company (Posco) of Korea to build the 4 000MW facility, said Vika di Panzu, a member of DRC’s Inga III steering committee.
The plant will take six years to build and cost more than $9 billion (R78bn), he said on Thursday at the Infrastructure Partnerships for African Development conference in DRC’s capital, Kinshasa.
The central African nation might finance the project with help from multilateral donors, including the World Bank and the African Development Bank, and power-purchasing agreements from metal companies, with construction beginning by 2016, di Panzu said.
Two previous plans to finance Inga III had failed in the past decade, delaying its construction, he said.
BHP Billiton in February abandoned a plan to build an aluminium smelter in the DRC to be powered by the plant. The BHP deal supplanted an earlier plan with Western Power Corridor, a venture involving five southern African countries, to build a plant that was intended to fill a regional energy shortfall. South Africa had power outages in 2008 that shut most of its mines and smelters.
The DRC would begin considering final feasibility studies from three groups of companies next month, di Panzu said, including one from China Three Gorges and Sinohydro. Two Korean companies, Posco and Daewoo have partnered with Canada’s SNC-Lavalin Group for a second bid. Actividades de Construcción y Servicios, based in Madrid, and Spain’s Eurofinsa Group have submitted a third bid.
Construction of the plant would cost $6bn, di Panzu said, while the power lines stretching from Inga to Kolwezi in the DRC’s southeastern Katanga province and on to Witkop, South Africa, about 3 600km away, would cost more than $3bn. Mining companies in Katanga would receive 1 500MW of power from the deal, he said.
The DRC and South Africa are also discussing a treaty for the implementation of a plan to build the largest hydropower plant, the 40 000MW Grand Inga complex, after the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding last November. The DRC’s parliament was considering a bill to liberalise the electricity industry in the country, di Panzu said.
Source Article from http://www.infrastructurene.ws/2012/10/23/plan-allows-sa-access-to-inga-power/
Plan allows SA access to Inga power