Home » Congo seeks partners for world’s largest green energy project

Congo seeks partners for world’s largest green energy project

by Victor Adetimilehin

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is on a quest to find investors for the Grand Inga project, a massive hydropower scheme that could power the entire African continent and beyond. The project has been stalled by negotiations with Fortescue Future Industries, an Australian company led by billionaire Andrew Forrest, who wants to use the electricity to produce green hydrogen.


President Felix Tshisekedi, who spoke to reporters in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, said he was open to other potential partners, including the World Bank, Chinese and European investors, and possibly Fortescue. He said he expected to meet with the company this week to discuss the project.


The Grand Inga project, which would be built on the Congo River, the world’s largest by volume, has been in the works for decades. It would have a capacity of 44 gigawatts, more than double the current largest dam, the Three Gorges in China. The project would cost an estimated $80 billion and take 10 to 15 years to complete.


The project is seen as a key solution to Africa’s energy crisis, as the continent faces frequent blackouts and relies heavily on fossil fuels. The project would also provide clean energy to other regions, such as Europe and the Middle East, through undersea cables.


Tshisekedi said he was committed to making the DRC a hub for green energy and mining, as the country is rich in natural resources such as copper, cobalt, gold and diamonds. He said he expected more investments from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has already partnered with the government on a gold venture and plans to expand into copper and cobalt mining. The UAE also provided military assistance to the DRC to repel a recent rebel attack in the east of the country, where conflict has plagued the region for years.


Tshisekedi also said he was renegotiating a $6.2 billion deal with China that involved exchanging minerals for infrastructure. He said he wanted to create a “new adventure” with China, which dominates the DRC’s mining sector. He said he was aware of the concerns of Western countries about China’s influence and access to strategic minerals, especially cobalt, which is essential for electric batteries.


The president also addressed the human rights situation in the DRC, where a recent murder of an opposition leader and arrests of political opponents and journalists have raised alarm. He said he regretted the detention of Stanis Bujakera, a correspondent for Jeune Afrique and Reuters, who was accused of spreading false information about the death of former minister Cherubin Okende Senga. He said he could not interfere with the justice system, but hoped for a fair and speedy trial.


Tshisekedi said he was confident that the DRC would hold peaceful and credible elections in December, and that he would respect the constitution and not seek a third term. He said he hoped to leave a legacy of stability, democracy and development for the country.


Source: Mining Weekly

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