World Bank suspends funding for DRC's 4,800-MW Inga 3 Basse Chute hydroelectric plant

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The World Bank Group announced earlier this week that it has suspended disbursements of funding to the Democratic Republic of Congo's 4,800-MW Inga 3 Basse Chute and Mid-Size Hydropower Development Technical Assistance program.

The announcement comes following what the Washington, D.C.-based lending organization a "decision to take the project in a different strategic direction to that agreed" between DRC and the World Bank in March 2014.

Per their 2014 agreement, the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA) would provide a US$73.1 million grant, consisting of $47.5 million earmarked for the Inga 3 Basse Chute and $25.6 million for other mid-size hydropower development.

The bank said about 6% of the total project financing has already been disbursed.

According to the World Bank, IDA's financing would have helped pay for technical assistance, strategic advice to the DRC government, complementary studies, capacity building and institutional strengthening with transparent development as a public-private partnership.

The World Bank did not say whether it will consider lifting the suspension should the African country meet its conditions, but said it "remains committed to supporting the DRC in its efforts to provide affordable and reliable energy for its people and to drive sustainable sources of growth for its economy."

The Inga site currently includes the 350-MW Inga 1 and 1,424-MW Inga 2 hydroelectric projects, which are undergoing refurbishment. Additionally, the DRC plans to develop seven successive stages of what is to become the 42,000-MW Grand Inga hydroelectric complex, including the 4,800-MW Inga 3 Basse Chute, Inga 3 Haute Chute and Inga 4-8 projects.

For more news from Africa, visit here.

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