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DRC still searching for builders for 4,800-MW Inga 3 hydropower project

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Though three groups have already submitted bids, the Democratic Republic of Congo said it is still looking for more parties interested in construction the 4,800-MW Inga 3 hydropower project.

"We're open to other operators," Energy Minister Bruno Kapandji said at the iPAD DRC Mining & Infrastructure Indaba in Kinshasa earlier this week. "The candidates are not closed."

The three groups that have already submitted bids include China's Three Gorges Corporation and Sinohydro Corporation; Korea's Posco, Daewoo and Canada's SNC-Lavalin Group Incorporated; and Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA and the Eurofinsa Group of Spain.

Inga 3 will be the third stage of the Grand Ingo project, which already includes the 350-MW Inga 1 and 1,424-MW Inga 2. Once complete, the eight sites comprising the Grand Inga project could eventually have a combined output capacity of 40,000 MW.

HydroWorld.com reported in June that the African Development Bank (AfDB) had awarded US$5.25 million in grants to Congo for technical assistance in developing Inga 3.

The country also signed a power purchase agreement with South Africa in December 2012.

Congo's government has said it hopes to begin work on the Inga 3 portion by October 2015.

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