Congo to construct high voltage distribution substation in Kasumbalesa

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The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is set to construct a 220-15/6.6kV high voltage distribution substation in the town of Kasumbalesa, located in the province of Haute-Katanga at the border with the neighboring republic of Zambia.

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The project is aimed at enabling the efficient management of the flow of energy exchanged between the electricity grid of Southern Africa (SAPP) and that of the DRC. It is also focused on improving energy exchanges and the measurement of this energy exchanged between the DRC and its southern neighbor, Zambia. Furthermore, the project is expected to increase the rate of electricity supply to the Haute-Katanga province and the country at large, and also promote the socio-economic development of Kasumbalesa and its surrounding areas.

The project implementation agreement

The government of the DRC through the state-owned Societe Nationale de Electricite (SNEL) has awarded the contract for the execution of the project to Elsewedy Electric for Transmission and Distribution of Energy, a subsidiary of Elsewedy Electric S.A.E. (SWDY), an Egyptian based integrated energy and infrastructure solutions provider operating in Northern Africa, Eastern Africa, the Middle East, and Southern Europe.

As per the contract, which is valued at approximately US$ 38.8M, Elsewedy Electric’s will be responsible for the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) of the entire project on a turnkey basis. This project is scheduled to be completed within a span of 18 months from the date of commencement.

An overview of the energy sector in the Congo

The central African country has one of the lowest rates of electrification in the entire African continent. Eleven percent of the population has access to electricity (25 percent in urban areas, and four percent in rural areas).

The energy supply of the DRC is heavily dependent on traditional biomass (firewood, charcoal, and waste), but the country has the largest hydroelectric capacity in Africa, with the potential to generate 100 gigawatts (GW) of power.