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INGA DAM ELECTRICITY: SA & DRC Revive $14 Billion Project To End Blackouts

Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa on Thursday pledged to revive Congo’s giant Inga 3 hydroelectric project that South Africa hopes will help solve its crippling power crisis.

The $14 billion project, which will harness the power of the Congo River, has been repeatedly delayed by red tape and disagreements between Congo and its partners.

“We have now recommitted ourselves to revive the Grand Inga project,” South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa said at a joint press conference in Congo’s capital Kinshasa, noting that the project had been “lying dead.”

Inga 3, announced in 2013 with World Bank support, was supposed to deliver 11 GW of power, primarily for export to South Africa and for mines in eastern Congo. However, the World Bank cancelled its involvement in 2016 due to what it called strategic differences.

Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi said he had held discussions with potential new partners, including China and the World Bank, in recent weeks.

“The World Bank is once again keen to get back involved in this project,” he told reporters.

The deal is expected to be finalised within 18 months, after which engineering work can begin, according to a bilateral commission report seen by Reuters.

South Africa is facing daily power cuts – its worst in history – as creaking, old power plants break down, plunging Africa’s most industrialised economy into prolonged blackouts.

“We have agreed that urgent steps must be taken to expedite the full implementation of this project,” South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said.

CREDIT: Reuters

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