AfDB, DRC Sign US$ 58 Million Grant Agreement for Inga Power Station Rehabilitation

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AfDB, DRC Sign US$ 58 Million Grant Agreement for Inga Power Station Rehabilitation

The Bank Group signed on Thursday in Tunis a grant agreement of 35.70 million Units of Account (UA*), equivalent to US$ 58 million, to finance the Inga hydro-power stations, the Kinshasa distribution network and a rehabilitation and upgrading project (RDPMDP).

The AfDB Vice President for Infrastructure, Private Sector and Regional Integration, Gantsho Mandla, signed the agreement for the Bank Group while the Chargé d’Affaires of the DRC in Tunisia, Genevieve Lukusa Kayembe Nkaya, signed for her country. Mr. Gantsho said the project, co-financed with other donors, particularly the World Bank, would enhance operational efficiency in the DRC’s energy sub-sector, boost power generation and transmission capacity, meet domestic demand and support regional integration.

"I would like to underline the need for an urgent implementation of this project given the dilapidated state of the electrical infrastructure and the need to improve electricity supply in the country," Mr. Gantsho said, urging DRC authorities to mobilize all national stakeholders to facilitate implementation of the project.

For her part, Ms Nkaya emphasized the importance of the Inga power station for the economic and social development of the DRC and the wellbeing of the population. She commended the Bank’s commitment and support to the country’s reconstruction efforts, assuring that the project will be implemented as soon as possible.

The Project involves the rehabilitation of 10 out of the 14 plants of the Inga hydro-power complex, the construction of a high voltage line between Inga and Kinshasa and the rehabilitation and extension of the Kinshasa distribution network, including some 50,000 new connections. The key components will involve power generation transmission, distribution, building capacity and governance as well as support to project implementation.

Despite the DRC’s substantial hydro-power potential, energy consumption indicators, which are tied to the level of development, are the lowest in the region and even in the world. The stoppage of investments in the electricity sub-sector, coupled with population growth, has led to dwindling per capita electricity consumption – 161 kWh in 1980 to 91 kWh in 2002. The country’s 6% electrification rate falls well short of the 20% African average.

The project’s area of intervention covers Bas-Congo Province and the Kinshasa region, but its zone of influence spreads beyond these boundaries as the power generated at the rehabilitated plants will be supplied to other provinces and several countries of the region. The Inga 1 and 2 hydroelectric power stations are located some 150 km from the mouth of the Congo River. The area is sparsely populated and consists mostly of savannah and gallery forests in the valleys.

The total project cost is estimated at UA 301.36 million. The project will be financed with the African Development Fund (ADF) grant of UA 35.70 million, The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) grant of UA 193.45 million, and government contribution of UA 9.35 million. Other donors are expected to make up for the remaining UA 72.25 million.

* 1 UA = 1.64450 as at 11/04/2008