Officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo said they will soon perform foundation work at the 40 GW Grand Inga hydropower project in October 2015, according to HydroWorld.com. The first phase of the project, as planned, would produce 4.8 GW of hydroelectricity to be sold to South Africa.
Funding for the Grand Inga project is coming from a number of sources, including the African Development Bank, World Bank, French Development Agency, European Investment Bank and Development Bank of South Africa.
A developer has yet to be selected, though three are currently being considered. Included are the Sinohydro and Three Gorges Corp. from China; Actividades de Construccion y Servicios, comprised of Eurofinsa and AEE from Spain; and one including Korea’s Daewoo-Posco and Canada’s SNC Lavalin.
If development goes as planned, work on the Inga 3’s first phase will begin in 2015. This portion, called the Inga 3 Low-Head, will have a capacity of 1,800 MW and does not require damming of the Congo River. The next phase – called the Inga 3 High-Head, will add an additional 3,000 MW and includes construction of the Grand Inga Dam.
Five other hydropower plants will then be built on the same dam, eventually raising its cumulative capacity to 40 GW. If completed, Grand Inga would surpass China’s Three Gorges hydroelectric project as the world’s largest.