Ivanhoe Mines announced today in a press release that the Mwadingusha hydropower plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has begun supplying an initial 11 MW of power to the national grid after upgrading and rehabilitating the first of six turbine-generators at the plant.
Part of a program financed by Invanhoe Mines at Mwadingusha, Unit 1 is the first of six turbine-generators being upgraded and modernized at the dam's power plant.
The Mwadingusha Dam, impounds the Lufira River creating the Mwadingusha Reservoir, and the facility was originally commissioned in 1930.
The total cost of the modernization project and a proposed final completion date are not immediately available.
Once completed, the full upgrade and modernization project is expected to restore Mwadingusha to its installed capacity of about 71 MW.
The project is through a partnership between DRC’s state-owned power company, La Société Nationale d’Electricité (SNEL) and Ivanhoe Mines Energy DRC, a subsidiary of Kamoa Holding Ltd.
According to Congolese officials, this first installation of modern power generating equipment at Mwadingusha is an important milestone in helping to secure long-term, sustainable and clean electricity for the Congolese people and for the development of the major, new copper mine at Kamoa.
Power supply for the copper mine will be provided by SNEL under a financing agreement made in March 2014. SNEL plans to supply power from the Mwadingusha, 36-MW Koni and 10-MW Nzilo 1 hydroelectric power plants.