The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will soon decide on the consortium to help develop the long-delayed Inga 3 hydroelectric project and hopes work can start by the end of 2016 or early 2017, Reuters reported.

Prime Minister, Augustin Matata Ponyo said “The project is in very advanced stages, we are in the selection process … to decide who will be the main players in this project,”

“Ideally, towards the end of 2016, or beginning of 2017, we will start construction”.

Construction of the Grand Inga hydropower project, could potentially make it the world’s largest hydropower site Photo: ejatlas

Construction of the Grand Inga hydropower project, could potentially make it the world’s largest hydropower site Photo: ejatlas

The project, which will be built along the Congo river, “would be an expansion of two existing Inga hydroelectric dams, making it potentially the world’s largest hydropower site,” Reuters reported.

It will be constructed in two phases will include a dam and a 4,800MW hydroelectric plant at Inga Falls on the Congo River.

According to reports, “The Inga 3 BC hydropower scheme is the first phase in the construction of the Grand Inga hydropower project… The Grand Inga scheme would have a generation capacity of 40,000MW and would be developed in seven phases”.

Grand Inga could produce up to 40,000 MW of electricity, “over twice the power generation of Three Gorges Dam in China, and more than a third of the total electricity currently produced in Africa,” according to International Rivers.

The African Development Bank and other financial institutions have been on board since early 2013 and committed to financing the Inga 3 project but the project was delayed.

Once off the ground, the project is expected to increase access to renewable, more reliable and cheaper energy to DRC and other African countries.

Source: Reuters