Glencore and the Fleurette Group are restoring the main hydroelectric plant in the Congo by injecting US$360 million into the initiative, the Africa Report reported.
This was a strategy implemented to assist the minning sector whose projects have a taken a knock due to unreliable supply of power, the Africa Report reported.
Minning companies have to put the brakes on new projects and developments due to the increasing power outages which are a proving to be a hindrance for potential investment. Since 2006, the Democratic Republic of Congo has been an attractive region for mining investment due to large untapped mineral resources, the Africa Report reported.
Pieter Deboutte a board member of Mutanda Mining, a copper initiative co-owned by Glencore and the Fleurette Group said that optimal mining could only happening if a reliable power supply is guaranteed.
‘If you want to (produce) 1.5 million tonnes of copper, this is only possible if you solve the energy problem’, the Africa Report reported.
Mutanda released data showing that their Kamoto mine in Katanga, lost around 862 hours of power from May to September resulting in the import of power from Zambia and utilising diesel generators which cost US$3 million a month to run, the Africa Report reported.
With an urgent solution needed, Glencore and Fleurette have taken it upon themselves to fix two of SNEL’s turbines situated on the Inga 2 hydroelectric plant and in addition will improve 2 000km of existing transmission lines which distribute to Katanga, the Africa Report reported.
The improvements are said to generate 450MW, keeping 380MW for Kamoto, the Africa Report reported.
Oscar Melhado, the International Monetary Fund’s representative in Congo, said that ‘the model here is you bring what you need’, the Africa Report said.
The long term energy plan sees the development of the Inga 3 dam generating 4 800MW of power which will deploy 1 300MW to the mining sector, 1 000MW to the domestic market and 2 500MW will be exported to South Africa according to officials at SNEL, the Africa Report reported.
The dam is expected to begin construction next year and reach completion by 2020, the Africa Report reported.