Chinese Companies to Build Hydro Plant In Congo

Chinese Companies to Build Hydro Plant In Congo

After years of negotiations, Chinese companies Sinohydro Corp. and China Railway Group Ltd. have agreed to finance a 240MW, $660 million hydro-power plant in Democratic Republic of Congo’s Katanga province that will meet the mining project’s electricity requirements, Bloomberg reported.

The project is meant to help fill a 900MW electricity shortfall in the region, Moise Ekanga, Executive Secretary of the Office for the Coordination and Monitoring of the Sino-Congolese Program explained. “This will bring our energy deficit down,” Ekanga said.

Energy shortages have inhibited investment in Katanga’s mines, which have also been hit by a slump in commodity prices. The slow-down forced Congo’s government last month to slash spending by 22%.

Busanga will help expand China Railway and Sinohydro’s so-called Sicomines venture with Congo’s state-owned copper company Gecamines, which is developing a 6.

8m metric ton mining project.

As it was earlier reported also by Bloomberg, the venture is part of a $6b minerals-for-infrastructure deal between China and Congo signed in 2007 through which the Sicomines partners finance infrastructure projects in the country in return for mineral rights.

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