The Grand Inga project has hit a roadblock despite the signing of a memorandum of understanding in September 2020 with Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. to develop what could be the largest hydroelectric project in the world.
President Felix Tshisekedi expressed his disappointment with the situation during an interview with Bloomberg on January 19th, 2023, at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He believes that in order to move forward, Fortescue should bring in other investors, particularly from Africa, and potentially scale back their ambitions to accelerate the project’s development.
“We are not on the same wavelength,” said President Felix Tshisekedi. “We want to create an opportunity that brings together various interests, particularly those of Africa. We are open to all discussions and meetings.”
He added that he met with Fortescue’s President, Andrew Forrest, during his visit to Davos to continue the discussions.
Challenges of the Mega Project
Fortescue Future Industries Ltd. plans to harness the energy from Inga, which could potentially be twice as powerful as China’s Three Gorges project, to produce green hydrogen and green ammonia for the Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to estimates, the Grand Inga project aims to produce 10 million tons of green hydrogen annually. The project is also expected to create over 100,000 direct jobs and up to 500,000 indirect jobs. Additionally, a fund called “Inga Fund” will be established, which will receive 5% of the investments made for the Grand Inga project.
The project will also help to bring electricity to rural and peri-urban areas, in line with the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Industrialization Master Plan.
However, the project is currently facing delays due to disagreements within the Presidency and Government, according to sources familiar with the matter. Despite the support of the Head of State and former Special Adviser Kayembe, Fortescue is reportedly facing various administrative challenges.
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