KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo A report from water resources watchdog group International Rivers said the World Bank has switched development of the 4,800-MW Inga 3 hydropower project from a public sector project to a private one.
According to International Rivers, the World Bank withdrew a US$73 million International Development Association (IDA) grant that was supposed to have been approved by its board of directors earlier this month.
Instead, the World Bank will now work toward a private investment deal via the International Finance Corporation.
The move is concerning, International Rivers said, because it could change the project’s beneficiaries. Instead of benefitting the impoverished within Congo, private development of Inga 3 would likely mean much of the power generated would instead be sold to mining companies and South Africa.
HydroWorld.com reported in November of this past year that the African Development Bank (AfDB) had approved US$68 million in financing to be used by the Inga Site Development and Electricity Access Support Project (PASEL) to support Inga 3’s development.
DRC also recently recruited expressions of interest from consultants to perform additional feasibility studies for the project.
Lead image: Hydropower via Shutterstock