Congo Businessman Plans Hydropower Plants to Help Copper Miners

by Thomas Wilson

December 9, 2015, 12:00 AM EST

  • Power shortage reducing copper output by 50,000 tons a year

  • Privately developed power plant would be country's first

A Congolese businessman plans to develop a hydropower project in southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo to supply electricity to the region’s mines. By doing so he would establish a new model for electricity projects in the country.

Africa’s biggest copper producer is almost the size of Western Europe, though it only has installed power-generating capacity of 2,442 megawatts -- about the same as Panama’s. Only half that capacity is functioning.

Eric Monga, regional head of the Federation des Entreprises du Congo, a business lobby group known as the FEC, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Congolese government in September for the development of two sites in Haut-Katanga province. Most of the 1 million metric tons of copper the country produces comes from the southeastern region, which was previously known as Katanga.

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