Sombwe Hydropower Project
The Sombwe project is estimated to have a maximum output of 160 megawatts. The plant will comprise a 90-metre high dam to be built in partnership with PowerChina.
Connection to the grid will require a 205 km high-voltage power line from Sombwe to the Fungurume substation. The villages of Kalera and those along the access road will benefit from this electricity, as well as other consumers in the former Katanga province.
The construction period is set to four years.
Main characteristics of the proposed HPP scheme (Click on the image below for more details)
Sombwe is a hydropower Scheme being developed on the Lufira River, 30 kilometres downstream of the Kiubo Falls in the southern DRC. 300 km north of Lubumbashi and 200 km of the thriving mining city of Kolwezi, Sombwe is deep in the copper belt in the north of Haut Katanga, downstream of two existing hydropower developments at Koni and Mwadingusha.
Location of Sombwe Project Area
The Sombwe project area is located in the Lubudi-Sampwe Hunting Reserve created in 1959. The Upemba National Park was created in 1939 and its expansion in 1975 resulted in an overlap with the existing hunting reserve in the south-eastern part. The boundaries of the hunting reserve were never adjusted. The expansion of the Upemba National Park overlaps the hunting area where the Sombwe Project is located.
The reservoir in the Lufira gorges is estimated to be around 2,000 hectares over 30 km, which ends 10 km downstream the Kiubo Falls at 830m in the Hunting Reserve.
The Congolese Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development issued the Terms of References (ToR) for the Sombwe project in 2015. The ToR is a legal framework applicable to the project, which gives the structure of the study and dictates the content in accordance with all the respective laws and international standards pertaining to this project.
2015 Steering committee
The Sombwe project was developed with a Steering Committee with representants from the Congolese President Office, the Ministries of Energy, Infrastructure, Environments, SNEL, ICCN etc. These are institutions and authorities making sure the development of the Sombwe project follow national legislation and procedures.
2015 – ESIA
KIPAY started to in December 2015 to undertake Environmental and Social Impact Assessments for the Sombwe Project.
Concession Agreement was obtained in 2016.
Preliminary Environmental permit from the Congolese Environment Agency (ACE), which enabled the continuation of studies.
2019 Environmental Permit
Environmental permit from the Congolese Environment Agency (ACE).
To ensure a stable supply of energy to our offtakes a solar energy plant will be established in the vicinity of the Fungurume substation. KIPAY is currently developing a solar farm in Fungurume as well as new solar technology solutions.
In Sombwe, the power from the dam generated will travel 200 kilometres south to the Fungurume substation. Kipay, as a catalyst for social development, will be providing electricity to local communities near the site. In addition the electricity will be sold to some mining companies in the vicinity of Kolwezi.
The technical feasibility studies were completed by the French consultant company Ingerop and the South African Knight Piesold. The project further entails an access road from Kalera Village to Sombwe.
Documents already signed : Concession Agreement