Inga 1 and Inga 2 dams
Inga 1 (351 MW) and Inga 2 (1,424 MW) were commissioned in 1972 and 1982, respectively, as part of a failed industrial development scheme under then-Zaïre's dictator, Sese Sekko Mobutu. The two dams currently operate at only 40% capacity because they never received maintenance: about half of the 14 turbines don’t work at all. When Inga 2 was built, a 1,770 km transmission line, known today as the Inga-Kolwezi line, was also built to transport power to the state-owned copper mines in the
Besides its debt legacy, the dams have left a sorrowful social legacy. The government has never fulfilled its obligations to compensate communities originally displaced by Inga 1 and 2 dams. Read more about Inga's communities.
Rehabiliation of Inga 1 and Inga 2 Dams, Inga-Kolwezi Transmission Line
Rehabilitation work has met years of delay regardless of approved financing. Since 2002, the World Bank has led efforts to rehabilitate DRC's electricity sector through three projects (PMEDE, SAPM APL 1, and EMRRP). There has also been a direct agreement between MagEnergy and the Government of DRC towards rehabilitating Inga 2. However, a severe blockage at the intake canal to Inga 1 and 2's shared reservoir will limit the dams from producing just 70% of their installed capacity, even after current rehab work is complete. Work to repair the intake would require the reservoir to be drained. No cost estimate is yet available.
World Bank-led Rehab
The PMEDE is the major project to rehabilitate Inga 1 and Inga 2 dams. In 2007, PMEDE had a total estimated cost of $500.7 million and is being financed by: the World Bank ($296.7 million, approved May 2007); the African Development Bank (only $57 million from an expected $100 million, approved in April 2008); and European Investment Bank (110 million Euros, anticipated June 2008). Read about concerns raised over the PMEDE. There are five project components:
- rehabilitation of Inga 1 and Inga 2
- construction of a second transmission line from Inga to Kinshasa
- expansion and rehabilitation of the distribution network in Kinshasa, including powering of un-electrified areas and 50,000 new connections
- strengthening the capacities of SNEL and of the Ministry of Energy
- support to execution of the Project, including on engineering and environmental/social aspects
In November 2003, the World Bank approved $178.6 million in financing toward rehabilitation of 1,770 km, Inga-Kolwezi high-voltage transmission line under the first phase of a regional project known as the Southern Africa Power Market Adaptable Phase Loan (SAPM APL 1). Rehabilitation of the Inga –
Under the World Bank's Emergency Multi-sector Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Project (EMRRP) loan to DRC, approved in August 2002, at least $116 million in electricity sector contracts have been approved.
MagEnergy's IPP Deal
In 2005, MagEnergy signed a direct contract with SNEL to rehabilitate part of Inga 2 Dam. The agreement marks the first foreign direct investment received by SNEL and makes MagEnergy the first independent power producer (IPP) in DRC. MagEnergy has completed Phase 1, including emergency works on 4 turbines, and replacing one turbine. Phase 2, the complete rehabilitation of 4 turbines, is due to begin soon. MagENergy seeks to use Inga 2 to power its smelter, chipping mill, and other resource industries located at Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo.