Africa's grid a step closer to reality

Posted On Monday, 19 January 2004 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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POWER utility Eskom's longstanding vision of harnessing the hydroelectric potential of the Congo River moved a step closer this week with the pending signing of the intergovernmental memorandum of understanding.










Approval by the governments of the five southern African national utilities participating in the project would result in the building of the world's largest hydroelectric scheme. It will have the capacity to supply the entire continent with electricity.

According to Eskom, the existing connections between Morocco and Spain, Jordan and the Middle East would facilitate the drive to supply excess power into European markets.

Eskom spokesman Fani Zulu said yesterday that the company and four other southern African power utilities were closer to signing a memorandum of understanding to build a 3 500mW Inga III hydropower station in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

About $1bn has been set aside for the project.

A joint venture company called Western Power Corridor (Westcor) to be owned by Eskom, Botswana Power Corporation, Empresa Nacional de Electridade of Angola, NamPower of Namibia and Societe Nationale d'Electricite of the Congo will drive the Inga III project.

All five stakeholders will have equal shareholding in the firm.

Zulu said: "We are at the stage where two memoranda of understanding are about to be signed."

These are the intergovernmental and the interutility memoranda of understanding.

Eskom CE Thulani Gcabashe was part of the South African delegation that accompanied President Thabo Mbeki on a twoday state visit to the Congo earlier this week.

The Eskom spokesman said the trip was a "huge success" for power utilities as they had been invited by the Congolese government to help in the rehabilitation of the Inga I and Inga II and two other power stations.

Eskom had also been approached by the Congolese authorities to help with the electrification programme in that country, Zulu said.


Last modified on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 19:14

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