Approval of an ADF Grant for the Inga Hydro-Electric Project

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The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF), a member of the African Development Bank (ADB) Group, on Wednesday in Tunis approved a grant of 9,510,000 Units of Account (UA), which is equivalent to about 15.7 million dollars, to finance a study on the development of the Inga hydro-electric site and related interconnections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The objective of the study, which should start in 2008 following procurement of consultancy services, is to explore the feasibility of optimal development of the hydro-electric potential of the Inga site and the construction of high voltage power transmission lines.

The study, which covers a period of two years, will be conducted under the general supervision of the National Electricity Corporation of Congo (SNEL), a public company responsible for the production, transmission and distribution of electricity throughout the national territory. For the technical management and supervision of the activities of the study, SNEL will be assisted by African Power Pools. A Steering Committee will also be established for the study, and will comprise high-level representatives from Ministries and electricity companies in DRC and countries directly concerned with the interconnection lines, as well as the African Union Commission, NEPAD, the Regional Economic Communities (REC) concerned, the African Energy Commission and Power Pools.

To date, the DRC has implemented the first two phases of the development of the Inga site by constructing the power plants of Inga 1 (351 MW) and Inga 2 (1 424 MW), which became operational in 1970 and 1982 respectively. The ADB participates in the rehabilitation of the power stations through a grant of 58 million dollars approved at the end of 2007.

The Inga hydroelectric development project is considered as a pillar in the power supply security and independence of the African continent, particularly at a time of steady increases of oil prices and growing interest in renewable energy. Upon completion, the project will, through an interconnected electricity network and establishment of an energy market, help to satisfy the demand for electricity in DRC and other regions of the continent.

* UA 1 = US$ 1.64450 as at 30//04/2008