South Africa is partnering with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in building the Grand Inga Project which would be one of the largest hydroelectric power projects in the world, Minister of Energy Tina Joemat-Pettersson said on Tuesday.
This project is part of the regional energy collaboration and in pursuit of climate change mitigation objectives, the minister said while submitting her department’s 2015/2016 budget to parliament.
Once completed, the project will have the potential to power half the African continent, Joemat-Pettersson said.
“There are huge economic spin-offs to be harnessed from this project, including industrialization due to supplying goods and services, skills development relating to various aspects of hydropower development, and job creation.
“We are negotiating a preferential procurement status for companies domiciled within South Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) so that they could take advantage of this economic opportunity,” the minister said.
South Africa and the DRC are formalizing the structure of the business model. Private sector investors will have an opportunity for collaborating with governments on this massive project.
Grand Inga Project provides a valuable opportunity for South Africa to duplicate the success factors of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP), said Joemat- Pettersson.
“A number of countries on our continent will work with South Africa to explore business opportunities regarding the essential growth necessary in countries where the government and private sector players are committed to renewable energy,” she said.
Various small hydro projects have also been allocated under the independent producer program (IPP). In addition to this, the Department of Energy, in collaboration with other departments and entities, is looking into the potential to develop micro hydro projects, according to the minister.
“Hydro IPP’s from our neighboring Mozambique and other SADC countries will be encouraged,” she said.
The Grand Inga Project is a proposed hydroelectric dam on the Congo River at Inga Falls in the DRC. Enditem