The development of the Inga 3 hydroelectric power plant has suffered a setback, with the news that the World Bank has suspended its funding to the project due to a disagreement on strategy.
The bank cited the Democratic Republic of Congo’s decision to change its plans on an agreed strategic objective fundamental to the funding.
As a result it has suspended disbursements on its $73.1m grant intended at funding technical assistance on the Inga-3 Basse Chute (BC) & Mid-Size Hydropower Development Technical Assistance (TA) Project.
The total estimated cost of the project is about $14bn. It is part of an eight-stage Grand Inga project which could produce 44GW of energy at an estimated cost of $50-80bn.
The World Bank’s grant includes $47.5m for Inga-3 BC development support and $25.6m for mid-size hydropower development support.
At the time of suspension, about 6 per cent of the total project financing had been disbursed.
It is unclear as to how the impact of the withdrawal of funds could be on the project. In May, the government of DRC mentioned that it was looking sources of finance, but the exact amount was not disclosed.
The World Bank said it would continue to support generally the country’s efforts to provide a reliable electricity sector.
It will focus on improving the performance of DRC’s state utility, SNEL by rehabilitating mid-size hydropower plants, increasing energy access and continuing support to regional transmission interconnections.
[bc_video account_id=”1214147015″ player_id=”4697982639001″ video_id=”5050647037001″ min_width=”320px”]