DR Congo again seeks feasibility study of 80-MW Nzilo 2

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) again seeks bids from U.S. firms to perform a feasibility study of the 80-MW Nzilo 2 hydroelectric project in DRC's Katanga Province. Bids are due March 27.

With a US$553,534 technical assistance grant from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA), DRC utility Societe Nationale d'Electricite (SNEL) seeks a feasibility study to examine the potential for a 33- to 80-MW Nzilo 2 project expected to cost between US$112 million and US$250 million. (HNN 10/22/07) A similar solicitation was issued last year, with bids due in October. (HNN 8/29/08)

TDA has said Nzilo 2 is one of the more promising DRC sites for development, previously estimated at 100 MW. It said the project is to help ensure that the DRC's mining industry has access to sufficient power for continued development. After the initial feasibility study, it is envisioned that Nzilo 2 would be developed by SNEL in partnership with a mining company in the region.

TDA said preliminary data for many DRC hydro projects either does not exist or was destroyed during war. It said preliminary assessments of Nzilo 2 lack technical data. As a result, the study is to include many aspects of a pre-feasibility study, including technical assessments of topographic, hydrological, and geotechnical characteristics of the site, which are essential to determine hydroelectric potential.

Only U.S. firms and individuals may bid for the work. However, the contractor may use DRC subcontractors for up to 20 percent of the TDA grant amount.

A copy of the request for proposals with terms of reference and a background definitional mission report may be obtained from U.S. Trade and Development Agency, 1000 Wilson Blvd., Suite 1600, Arlington, VA 22209-3901 USA. The RFP may be requested in pdf form on the Internet at https://www.ustda.gov/businessopps/rfpform.asp. Requests for a copy by mail may be sent by fax to the TDA Information Resource Center at (1) 703-875-4009. TDA warned that some firms have found that return mail delivery has not been fast enough for an adequate response and that a delivery service or courier might be appropriate.

Proposals, in French and English, are due by 4 p.m. March 27 to Societe Nationale d'Electricite - SNEL Departement de Recherche et Developpement, 2381, Avenue de la Justice, B.P. 500, Kinshasa, Gombe, RDC; (243) 81-7005493.

The TDA point of contact is John Kusnierek, U.S. Trade and Development Agency, 1000 Wilson Blvd., Suite 1600, Arlington, VA 22209-3901 USA; (1) 703-8754357; Fax: (1) 703-8754009; E-mail: jkusnierek@ustda.gov.

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