AfDB adds funding for Congo's 4,800-MW Inga 3 hydropower project

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved US$68 million in financing that will be used by the Inga Site Development and Electricity Access Support Project (PASEL) to support development of Congo's 4,800-MW Inga 3 hydropower project.

The funding comes in the form of a $7.7 million Fragile States Facility grant and $60.6 million as an AfDB grant which, the bank said, accounts for about 43% of the Inga 3's $169 million price tag.

"This is the right project for the DRC and the bank -- at the right time," said AfDB Director of Energy, Environment and Climate Change. "It is timely because it facilitates the implementation of Inga 3 whose investment costs would otherwise be difficult to mobilize in the current context of the DRC."

AfDB said the money will be used to cover the costs of technical assistance "to ensure the completion of preparatory activities". It will also be used to power scarcity in remote areas not directly covered by Inga, but where Congo intends to develop grids around small hydropower projects.

This latest financing adds to previous AfDB investments, which also include $5.25 million in technical assistance awarded in June and $15.7 million provided for feasibility studies in 2008.

Inga 3 is part of Congo's 40-GW Grand Inga hydropower project, which is being developed in phases.

HydroWorld.com reported that Congo and South Africa had signed a power-purchase agreement in December 2012, which solidified commitments to the project. DRC said it hopes to begin construction of Inga 3 by October 2015.

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