The construction of the Inga 3hydropower project in DRC should start by the end of 2016 as the World Bank has approved $73.1 million in financing.
The $73.1 million grant and $33.4 million approved by the African Development Bank late last year, will provide the Democratic Republic of Congo with the world-class expertise to develop its hydropower potential. The total cost of the project is estimated at $12.0-12.5 billion, including $8.5 billion for the construction.
“By being involved in the development of Inga 3 BC from an early stage we can help ensure that its development is done right so it can be a game changer by providing electricity to millions of people and powering commerce and industry,” Makhtar Diop, the World Bank’s vice president for Africa, said in the statement.
The huge Inga 3 Basse Chute project (estimated to have the world’s third-largest hydropower potential) near Matadi would divert Congo River waters into a 12-kilometer (7.5-mile) channel and then pass them through a 100-meter (330-foot) high hydropower dam on the Bundi Valley before releasing the water back into the river.
Inga 3 is expected to generate 4,800 megawatts of power, equivalent to the output of three third-generation nuclear reactors.
The World Bank said the technical assistance project will finance environmental and social assessments to guide the development of the project; it does not include any construction or operational activities.
“The World Bank Group’s involvement in this project reinforces its mission to fight poverty, and its ongoing commitment to help the Congolese government in its goal to move the country along the path to a strong development future,” said DR Congo prime minister, Matata Ponyo Maponi,
DR Congo plans to sell some 1,300 megawatts of power to mining companies in its Katanga Province, in the southeast of the country, whose development has been limited because of a lack of available energy.