IFC, Globeleq, and others partner to develop large-scale solar power project in DRC
To scale up clean energy production capacity in the Democratic Republic of Congo, IFC, Globeleq, CIGenCo, Greenshare Energy, Greenshare Congo, Volt Renewables, and Nzuri Energy have partnered to develop a large-scale solar power production plant in the country.
The independent power producer (IPP) will be based in Kolwezi, south-eastern DRC, and will produce a planned 100 MWac of solar photovoltaic (PV) power, which will be sold to the national utility and support mining operations and economic activity in the region.
The project underscores IFC's commitment to early-stage, innovative energy projects and the government of DRC's efforts to increase and diversify its electricity output. According to World Bank data, only about 19 percent of DRC's population had access to electricity in 2019.
The project was originally developed by CIGenCo, Greenshare Energy, Greenshare Congo, Volt Renewables, and Nzuri Energy. IFC and Globeleq (as lead developer) have come on board to drive the project forward and help it reach completion.
To support the project's development costs, IFC is providing up to $900,000 through its Collaborations and Co-development Financing Program and up to a further $900,000 from the Finland-IFC Blended Finance for Climate Program.
"We are excited to partner with IFC on this project and build upon the solid work of the original developers. The use of renewables will reduce emissions and decrease the cost of electricity in the region. Applying Globeleq's experience in delivering renewable energy projects, we look forward to contributing to DRC's economic development and supporting its clean energy transition," said Jonathan Hoffman, Globeleq's Chief Development Officer.
"Today, I am extremely proud and excited to be bringing seasoned international investors, IFC and Globeleq, to the DRC. The DRC urgently needs investment in its power sector to meet its increasing industrial demand and production deficit. Together with IFC and Globeleq, we will build a landmark power plant for the DRC that will catalyze its nascent independent renewable energy industry," said Greenshare Congo DRC representative, Dr. Adolphe Ngoyi Kitengie.
"Ramping up energy production capacity in the DRC is essential to increasing economic growth and improving living standards in the country. IFC is proud to provide early-stage growth capital to this ground-breaking project, which will deliver clean and competitive power in a region where it is currently in limited supply," said Sylvain Kakou, IFC Country Manager for Central Africa.
Construction of the solar plant is expected to begin in 2023 and should be completed within 12 months. Once complete, it will be among the largest solar PV projects in the DRC.