Hydroelectric Power Plants in Congo and Congo DR

Imboulou
Location: Congo Republic
Operator: Societe Nationale d'Energie
Configuration: 4 X 30 MW Kaplan
Operation: 2012
T/G supplier: CMEC
EPC: CMEC, Tianjin Investigation, Design and Research Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower, Dessau, Fichtner, Delegation Generale des Grands Travaux
Quick facts: In Aug 2001, CMEC signed a $236mn contract with SNE to build Imboulou 200km north of Brazzaville in Pool Dept. This was the largest bilateral trade deal ever between the two countries as well as China’s biggest hydroelectric plant export to Africa to that date. CMEC partnered with China International Enterprise Cooperative Corp on the deal. Financing is by oil-backed credit loans from the Export-Import Bank of China. In Mar 2003, the government and CMEC signed further agreements for the project, by then expected to cost $280mn. A 33m earthfill dam is under construction on the Lefini River 14km upstream of its confluence with the Congo River and a powerhouse on the right bank will house four Kaplan turbines. The scheme also includes the construction of a 220kV power transmission line Imboulou-Brazzaville, and Imboulou-Ngo plus additional lines at 110kV and 20kV in Cuvette Department. Construction was slowed by labor shortages and construction issues. Annual output is expected to be about 680 GWh.

Photograph courtesy of Delegation Generale des Grands Travaux
Posted 30 Aug 2008

Inga-II
Location: Congo DR
Operator: Societe Nationale d'Electricite
Configuration: 6 X 59 MW Francis, 8 X 178 MW
Operation: 1972
T/G supplier: Tosi, Ansaldo, Sulzer Escher Wyss, Westinghouse Canada
EPC: Ansaldo
Quick facts: Inga is in the far western DRC 225km southwest of Kinshasa. At the Inga Falls, the Congo river drops 96m and this is considered the largest waterfall complex in the world by volume. The two Inga plants were initiated by former Président Mobutu Sese Seko as part of the Inga-Shaba project. In Mar 2012, Andritz was contracted to rebuild two of the 178-MW Francis sets at Inga-II. The €45mn contract is being supported by financing of the World Bank and commissioning is scheduled for 2015. The machines have been out of service for many years. All core parts of the turbines with runner diameters of 6.2m will be newly designed and replaced by modern equipment. Two more plants are planned, Inga-III at 4,500 MW and the immense 39-GW Grand Inga. Inga-III is part of the Westcor scheme to interconnect the DRC, Namibia, Angola, Botswana, and South Africa. Grand Inga would cost $80bn or more and be the largest power plant in the world by far with annual generation of 250 TWh, not much less than a 50% increase for power generation on the whole continent, and sales as far north as Egypt. Theoretical combined output of Inga I and II is around 12.6 TWh/yr.

Photograph courtesy of Andritz
Re-posted 2 March 2013

Koni
Location: Congo DR
Operator: Societe Nationale d'Electricite
Configuration: 3 X 14 MW Francis
Operation: 1930-1954
T/G supplier: Escher Wyss, ACEC
EPC: Coyne et Bellier
Quick facts: Koni is 6km downstream from Mwadingusha HPP on the Lufira River in Katanga province The plant was closed from October 2002 to Sep 2004 for a $600,00 emergency repair project on weakened structures. In Apr 2013, mining company Ivanplats Ltd reached agreement with the GOC for a series of rehabiliation projects on SNEL plants as part of its Kamoa copper prospect development. Stucky SA completed the feasiility report, which envisions completion of the hydropower projects in 2017.

Photograph courtesy of Ivanplats Ltd
Posted 13 Apr 2013

Moukoukoulou
Location: Congo Republic
Operator: Societe Nationale d'Energie
Configuration: 4 X 18.5 MW Francis
Operation: 1979
T/G supplier: Harbin
EPC: Multipower Hydroelectric Development Corp
Quick facts: Moukoukoulou Dam is on the Bouenza River about half-way between Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire. Although the plant has a nominal capacity of 74 MW, firm capacity in the dry season is about 30 MW. In the spring of 2007, SNE recommissioned the Moukoukoulou power plant after repairing war damage which had reduced output by about two-thirds. The rehabilitation project cost $12mn and the associated transmission system was to be fully restored in the fall of 2007. The Mindouli Substation, a key link in the Moukoukoulou-Brazzaville transmission line, also awaits repair. The hydro plant rehabilitation was overseen by DGGT and the lead contractors were Zhenwei and Weihai International Economic Technical Cooperative (Weitc).

Photograph courtesy of Delegation Generale des Grands Travaux
Posted 30 Aug 2008

Mwadingusha
Location: Congo DR
Operator: Societe Nationale d'Electricite
Configuration: 3 X 11 MW, 3 X 12 MW Francis
Operation: 1930-1954
T/G supplier: Charmilles, ACEC
Quick facts: This project at Cornet Falls on the Lufira River in Katanga province was developed by la Société Générale des Forces Hydro-électriques du Katanga (Sogefor), formed in1925 as a subsidiary of L'Union Minière to supply hydroelectricity for local mining operations. The site was first identified by a 1907 Swiss hydrological survey. Construction required a new 75km access road and all needed infrastructure. As the first 30-MW phase of the hydro plant was nearing completion, UM formed another subdsidiary called Société Générale Africaine d'Electricité, (Sogelec) to sell electricity in Panda-Likasi, Elisabetville, Kipushi and, later on, in Kolwezi. In Apr 2013, mining company Ivanplats Ltd reached agreement with the GOC for a series of rehabiliation projects on SNEL plants as part of its Kamoa copper prospect development.

Photograph courtesy of Ivanplats Ltd
Posted 13 Apr 2013

Ruzizi-I
Location: Congo DR
Operator: Societe Nationale d'Electricite
Configuration: 2 X 6.3 MW, 2 X 7.8 MW Francis
Operation: 1959-1972
T/G supplier: Escher Wyss, AEC, Althom-Jeumont
EPC: Tractebel, Ansaldo
Quick facts: The Ruzizi River runS between Lake Kivu and Lake, which differ in altititude by about 675m. Ruzizi-I is a few hundred metres downstream of the outlet of Lake and connects to the towns of Bukavu and Bujumbura via 70kV line. In 1978, the French financed a 110 KV line between Kigali and Ruzizi-I, thereby completing th einterconnectio of Rwanda, Burundi and Congo's Kivu region. Andritz rehabilitated two of the four turbines.

Photograph courtesy of Andritz
Posted 3 March 2013

 
Tshopo
Location: Congo DR
Operator: Societe Nationale d'Electricite
Configuration: 3 X 6.5 MW
Operation: 1954-1974
T/G supplier: Escher Wyss, Elin, Neyrpic, Alsthom
EPC: Alnsaldo, Sogreah
Quick facts: Tshopo is Kisangani City's northernmost commune. This SHP is on the Tshopo River. The Tshopo power station was overhauled from 2010-2013 using $20mn from Belgium and and $2.5mn from the DRC's own resources.

Photograph by Oasisk (wikimedia)
Posted 4 Sep 2013

Zongo-I
Location: Congo DR
Operator: Societe Nationale d'Electricite
Configuration: 3 X 13 MW, 2 X 18 MW Francis
Operation: 1955-1965
T/G supplier: Vevey, Charmilles, ACEC
Quick facts: Eskom has signed a contract to rehabilitate the Zongo plant.

Photograph courtesy of Inland Energy Inc
Posted 12 Oct 2005

Abbreviations

Data: industcards, Platts UDI World Electric Power Plants Data Base

Updated 04-Sep-2013

Home