22 June 2010 – A plan to recruit consultants to promote public and private financing of major regional hydropower projects in Africa has been rolled out by the The African Union Commission (AUC) – focusing on the proposed 4,300-MW Inga 3 project and the proposed Grand Inga complex with a target capacity of 40,000 MW.

The European Union (EU) and AUC issued a service contract forecast indicating the EU-Africa Energy Partnership would be seeking proposals from consultants within a month to provide the technical assistance.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) previously called for bids by July 15 for rehabilitation work at the 350-MW Inga 1 and 1,424-MW Inga 2 hydroelectric projects on the Congo River in the DRC. Inga 1 and 2 are the keystone of a proposal by DRC and its neighbors to invest up to US$40 billion to build Inga 3 and develop the Grand Inga complex to 40,000 MW.

A consultant is to be sought to work in cooperation with AUC, regional utilities, and power pools to build consensus for public and private financing and promotion of development of major regional hydro with a focus on the Inga expansions in the DRC.

The technical assistance is to provide policy support to implement the Africa Hydropower 2020 initiative for development of African hydropower potential. Also, in view of an Inga expansion feasibility study undertaken by the African Development Bank, the consultant is to support the AUC in proposing a strategy to the DRC and other stakeholders on development and financing of the Inga expansion and related transmission lines.

The work is budgeted at 1.25 million euros (US$1.54 million) under a financing agreement with the European Union. Other infrastructure contracts, for transport, energy, and information and communication technologies, are being prepared under the financing agreement.

The service contract forecast may be obtained from the EU’s Tenders Electronic Daily Internet site under
http://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:167592-2010:TEXT:EN:HTML&src=0.

A solicitation is expected within 30 days.