How to make the Grand Inga Hydropower Project happen for Africa

How to make the Grand Inga Hydropower Project
happen for Africa
April 2008
World Energy Council
How to make the Grand Inga Hydropower Project happen for Africa
How to make the Grand Inga Hydropower Project happen
for Africa
Africa is a continent of diversity and contrasts. Its land, climate, people, and unique and
spectacular wildlife are testament to this. With landmass covering some 30m square km, the
African continent is a land of giants.
Africa’s massive and powerful rivers sculpt the landscape, forming impressive valleys and
waterways that are home to all manners of impressive and potent inhabitants. The Nile and
the Congo are Africa’s two major rivers.
The African energy scene is just as diverse as its scenery. In the north and parts of coastal
areas along the west and east there is plenty of oil and gas, while in South Africa there is a
thriving economy due to the availability of coal for energy production.
However, 0.5 billion people in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity, which has
contributed to the continued poverty and underdevelopment that ravages the continent.
Electricity is a bridge to sustainable development. On its own, electricity is not sufficient for
creating the conditions for sustainable development, but it is a prerequisite, social
development, harnessing technological progress and environmental sustainability.
The Inga Hydropower Project
The Inga hydropower project has been discussed for a long time. First studies were done in
the 60’s. These site development studies recommended the construction of four hydroelectric
power stations in two phases.
The first phase concerned the construction of three power stations in the Nkokolo valley,
namely Inga I (351 MW, commissioned in 1972), Inga II (1,424 MW, commissioned in 1982)
and Inga 3 (about 3,500 MW, currently in the project design phase). HV lines transmit the
generated power to Zambia, Zimbawe, the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of
Congo (Brazzaville).
World Energy Council
How to make the Grand Inga Hydropower Project happen for Africa
The location of INGA, WESTCOR
The Inga III site is under the development of the Western Power Corridor (WESTCOR), a
joint venture of the national power firms of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DCR),
Angola, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.
Water head (m)
Turbine Water flow
(m /s)
Commissioned in
Number of units
INGA site I and II, technical parameters, WESTCOR
Installed capacity
Production (TWh/a
World Energy Council
How to make the Grand Inga Hydropower Project happen for Africa
The second phase of the study was on the development of the Grand Inga power station with a
total capacity of 39,000 MW, to be equipped progressively with 52 power generators of 750
MW each.
A pre-feasibility study of the Grand Inga Hydroelectric Power Station was conducted from
1993 to 1997 within the framework of the feasibility study of the project for the
interconnection of the Inga site, starting from the Grand Inga power station, in the Democratic
Republic of Congo and Egypt, via the Central African Republic, Chad and Sudan.
Installed capacity
Production (TWh/a
Water head (m)
Turbine Water flow
(m /s)
Number of units
Planned Projects, INGA II and Grand INGA, WESTCOR
Another feasibility study was carried out in 1997 by a consortium of EdF and Lahmeyer
International and it assessed the potential development including power plant expansion,
construction of transmission facilities from Inga site to Egypt and concluded that the project
was technically feasible and economically viable. It included environmental-impact
assessment, power generation layout and design studies as well as sustainability analysis.
World Energy Council
How to make the Grand Inga Hydropower Project happen for Africa
Development Scheme, WESTCOR
In 2007 the African Development Bank has announced a US$14 million funding for another
greater Inga feasibility study, which will include US$12 million to support the development
of the WESTCOR project on Inga 3.
The Potential of the Grand Inga Project
Apart from the two existing sites and the one currently under development, the total potential
of the Grand Inga project amounts to about 39,000 MW. This can provide sufficient
electricity to the African continent and furthermore could help Africa export energy through
possible interconnection links to Southern Europe.
Three major African interconnection projects were identified in the feasibility studies.
1. Northern Highway (between Inga site and Egypt)
2. Southern Highway (between Inga site and South Africa)
3. Western Highway (between Inga site and Nigeria)
World Energy Council
How to make the Grand Inga Hydropower Project happen for Africa
Interconnections from INGA site
Financing the Project and Incentives
The development of a project like the Grand Inga needs huge investments. The estimated
costs of the entire project could be between US$30 and US$70 billion depending on the
scope. Nevertheless, as an example the price per kWh generated at the Inga site and
transmitted to the Italian border would be lower than the market price in Italy today.
Its time to move from studies to action
Numerous meetings and events have been hold, focusing on the Grand Inga project over the
past two to three decades, involving a large number of players from all over the world.
However, no major breakthroughs have been achieved because investors are reluctant to take
the high political and country risks involved.
Given the G8 group of countries’ commitment to Africa, WEC believes that it’s now time to
move from studies stage to concrete action. The ultimate objective of Grand Inga is to bring
affordable and clean energy to the African continent to facilitate economic development and
World Energy Council
How to make the Grand Inga Hydropower Project happen for Africa
to improve the standards of living. It offers a unique opportunity to move the African
continent closer to achieving its sustainable-development goals.
WEC “International Forum on Grand Inga”
To facilitate action on the Grand Inga River Project the World Energy Council will host an
International Forum on “How to make the Grand Inga hydropower project happen for
Africa”. The forum will take place on the 16 and 17 March 2007 in Gabarone, Botswana.
The forum will bring together high-level representatives from governments, top-level
executives from major energy companies and related businesses, leading financial institutions
and the WEC Member Committees.
Inga is more than energy
The project is seen as the leading clean affordable and development option to address the
challenges of energy access in Africa.
The ultimate objective is to bring affordable and clean electricity to African people to
facilitate economic development and to improve the standard of living. It reaches beyond
energy access as it would also create local employment and income opportunities and would
help stabilise the political conditions in all African countries involved.
The project development will lead to international cross-border cooperation in Africa and
beyond. This will bring interdependence and thus prosperity for Africa.
WEC’s Future Role in the Project
Under the leadership of WEC, the Forum will design an action plan to move ahead the
development of the Grand Inga hydropower project. The plan will be submitted by WEC
members to the G8 and other governments.
WEC wants to provide new opportunities for the African decision-makers and all other
involved parties of the international energy business sector. It has committed itself to lead the
“Inga Task Force” and to follow up and to conduct the decisions and recommendations of the
action plan.
It is time for acting after decades of talks, let us make things happen.
Founded in 1923, the World Energy Council (WEC) is the leading global multi-energy
organisation. It covers all types of energy, including coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, hydro, and
renewables. WEC is comprised of autonomous national Member Committees in nearly one
hundred countries around the world, including most of the largest energy producing and
consuming countries. WEC is UN-accredited, non-governmental, and non-political and does
not directly represent any specific energy industry, company, or organisation. It is a UKregistered charity, headquartered in London.
WEC's Mission is to promote the sustainable supply and use of energy for the greatest
benefit of all. In pursuit of this mission, WEC runs a wide-ranging work programme, and as a
part of this programme an interactive electronic database has been developed to provide a
single, world-wide and publicly accessible location where projects which reduce greenhouse
gas emissions may be recorded and viewed.
World Energy Council
5th Floor, Regency House
1-4 Warwick Street, London W1B 5LT, UK
Tel: (+44 20) 7734 5996
Fax: (+44 20) 7734 5926
[email protected]