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Congo DRC
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The Democratic Republic of the Congo has reserves of petroleum, natural gas, coal, and a potential hydroelectric power generating capacity of around 100,000 MW. It possesses 50% of Africa’s forests and a river system that could provide hydro-electric power to the entire continent.

The Inga Dam, alone on the Congo River, has a potential capacity to generate 40,000 to 45,000 MW of electric power, sufficient to supply the electricity needs of the whole Southern Africa region.

Although the DRC has 60% of Africa’s hydroelectric potential, only 7% of the country’s population has access to electricity. Lack of local demand has led the DRC to export to Sinelac, Angola, Burundi, the Congo, Rwanda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The most important hydroelectric site is at Inga, on the lower Congo River, which provides most of installed capacity. A high-voltage transmission line more than 1,700 km (1,100 mi) long was completed in 1982 to carry some of the surplus power generated at Inga to the mining centers of the southeast. As of 2002, the government planned to expand the Inga and Inga II (2,000 MW) facilities by constructing Inga III and Grand Inga (40,000 MW) facilities.

In 2001, the dam was estimated to have an installed generating capacity of 2,473 MW. But, it is estimated that the dam is capable of producing no more than 650–750 MW, because two-thirds of the facility's turbines do not work. There are plans to raise the Inga power station to 44,000 MW capacities by 2010. The African Development bank has agreed to supply $8 million towards it. The government has also agreed to strength the Inga-kolwezi and Inga-South Africa interconnections and to construct a second power line to supply power to Kinshasa.

In 2007, the DRC had a gross production of public and self-produced electricity of 8,3217 million kWh. The DRC imported 6 million KWh of electricity in 2007. The DRC is also an exporter of electric power. In 2007, electric power exports came to 1.916 billion KWh, with power transmitted to the Republic of Congo and its capital, Brazzaville, as well as to Zambia and South Africa. There is a plan to build the Western Power Corridor (Westcor) to supply electricity from INGA III hydroelectric power plant to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.

DRC Electricity Utilities

Société Nationale d'Electricité (SNEL): is the national electricity company of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. SNEL operates the Inga Dam facility on the Congo River, and also operates thermal power plants. It is responsible for electricity generation, transmission and distribution.

Société International d'Electricite des Pays des Grands Lacs (SINELAC): is a company established by Burundi, Rwanda and Zaire to develop international electricity projects and generates electricity.

Régié de Production et Distribution d’Eau et d’Electricité (Regideso): operates Burundi's thermal power stations, (the majority of which are located in the country's capital Bujumbura and the surrounding areas), and a small amount of hydro capacity (in the form of small units in rural areas).

Key Figures

  • Electricity produced: 8.217 billion KWh (2008)
  • Electricity consumed: 5.997 billion KWh (2007)
  • Electricity Exported: 1.916 billion KWh (2007)
  • Electricity Imported: 6 million KWh (2007)

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