Ivanhoe Mines Energy, subsidiary of Ivanhoe Mines and sister company of Kamoa Copper SA, will supply renewable hydropower to the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Mine in the Kolwezi District of Lualabla in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Canadian mining company has extended an existing financial agreement with DRC’s state-owned power utility company, La Société National d’ Électricité (SNEL) to upgrade Turbine 5 at the Inga II hydropower facility.
The Turbine 5 upgrade is expected to generate an additional 162 MW of hydropower, which, combined with 78 MW of hydropower generated by the Mwadingusha Hydropower Plant, will provide a total 240 MW of renewable energy to the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Mine. The upgrades will also include work on the Inga-Kolwezi transmission line terminal equipment, which is expected to increase its transfer capacity by at least 200 MW.
Co-Chairs for Ivanhoe Mines Energy, Robert Friedland and Yufeng “Miles” Sun, stated on 16 August that the financing agreement is in line with the Memorandum of Understanding, signed in April 2021, to establish a public private partnership signed with SNEL to provide the mine with clean energy.
The financial agreement stipulates that upgrades to the facilities will be financed by Kamoa Copper’s holding company, Kamoa Holding, through a loan to SNEL. The loan will be repaid through a deduction of monthly power bills incurred over the duration of the loan.
The scope of work and associated cost estimates have been defined through a technical assessment by Kamoa Copper and SNEL together with the Swiss engineering consultancy firm subsidiary, Stucky SA and German hydropower equipment supplier, Voith Hydro.
“The Kamoa Copper management team continues to execute on our strategic plan to systematically expand Kamoa-Kakula into one of the world’s largest and greenest copper producers. The timely refurbishment of Turbine 5 at the Inga II hydropower complex is instrumental in ensuring we meet the aggressive goals we’ve set out to accomplish in the next few years,” Friedland commented.
“SNEL and Ivanhoe Mines Energy are confident that the Inga II project will enjoy the same success as our joint rehabilitation of the Mwadingusha hydroelectric power station. We are all keen on fast-tracking the return to service of Unit 5 at Inga II to provide access to electricity to more people in the DRC, and to meet power demands of the world-scale Kamoa-Kakula Copper Mine.” added SNEL CEO, Jean-Bosco Kayombo Kayan.
The Kamoa-Kakula copper mine is a joint venture that includes Ivanhoe Mines (39.6%), Chinese multi-national mining company, Zijin Mining Group (39.6%), information technology and services company, Crystal River Global (0.8%), and the Government of the DRC (20%).
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