Ivanhoe signs agreement to boost hydropower at Kamoa-Kakula

Ivanhoe Mines inks deal with DRC power company La Société Nationale d’Electricité (SNEL) to upgrade a major turbine at its hydropower complex

Ivanhoe Mines has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in a public-private partnership with the DRC’s state-owned power company La Société Nationale d'Electricité (SNEL) to upgrade a major turbine (#5) at the existing Inga II hydropower facility on the Congo River.

La Société Nationale d'Electricité

Félix Tshisekedi, President of the DRC, commented on the significance of the deal to produce clean, renewable electricity to support Kamoa-Kakula’s expansion plans and provide reliable electricity to local communities: “The Democratic Republic of the Congo is blessed with extraordinary hydroelectric potential. It is imperative to develop this potential because hydropower is clean, reliable and renewable. It is undoubtedly the most suitable type of electricity to support our country’s long-term development priorities.”

“Partnerships such as the one between SNEL and Ivanhoe allow us to inject additional capacity into our electrical grid and improve the living conditions of Congolese citizens by increasing their access to electricity. At the same time, the additional power that will be generated will allow Kamoa-Kakula to beneficiate its mining products in the DRC. This will create additional revenue for the country, as well as employment opportunities for our people. As the host country and as a shareholder of Kamoa Copper, the DRC sees this local value creation as a strategic imperative," President Tshisekedi added.

Kamoa Copper

Ben Munanga, Chairman of Kamoa Copper, remarked: “The bilateral cooperation between Ivanhoe Mines Energy DRC and SNEL to secure reliable power for Kamoa-Kakula is a win-win partnership and underscores the importance that the DRC government places on the development of large-scale mining projects in the country.” 

“This new power-supply agreement is an important step forward on our sustainability journey as it will provide Kamoa-Kakula with priority access to a combined 240 megawatts of clean, renewable electricity from the upgraded turbines at Mwadingusha and Inga II hydropower plants,” Mr. Munanga added.

Voith Hydro

SNEL and Ivanhoe Mines Energy DRC plan to appoint Voith Hydro of Heidenheim, Germany, a leading engineering group, as the contractor to lead the consortium of equipment manufacturers for the turbine upgrade. For more than 80 years, Voith has successfully constructed and modernized hydropower plants on the African continent, and approximately 25% of currently installed turbine capacity in Africa has been supplied by Voith. Voith also has successfully rehabilitated two turbine generators at the adjoining Inga I hydropower plant, a project that was financed by the World Bank.

Robert Friedland

Ivanhoe's Chairman Robert Friedland said a long-term, sustainable supply of electricity is essential to Ivanhoe’s vision to develop Kamoa-Kakula into one of the world’s largest copper projects and doing it in an environmentally, ethically and socially responsible manner. As a sustainable source of energy, hydropower can make a significant contribution to a country’s economic and social development.

“Until now, a key limiting factor in expanding Kamoa-Kakula to its full potential has been the availability of sufficient power. Given the project’s massive Indicated Resources of approximately 1.4 billion tonnes grading 2.7% copper, at a 1% cut-off, and the outstanding potential to find more high-grade copper, the new partnership with SNEL on Inga II gives us a clear line of sight to realising our vision of building Kamoa-Kakula into the world’s largest, high-grade, green copper mine,” said Friedland.

“Our first public-private partnership with SNEL  the upgrading of the Mwadingusha hydropower plant  has gone very well and we are pleased that facility will provide clean hydro-generated electricity to local communities as well as to Kamoa-Kakula for Phase 1 and Phase 2 production. The supply of reliable hydropower is critical to Kamoa-Kakula achieving its goal of becoming the world's “greenest” copper mine and be among the world's lowest greenhouse gas emitters per unit of copper produced."

Mwadingusha hydropower plant


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