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Emirati independent power producer AMEA Power has recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for the development of a 100 MW solar energy project. The MoU was signed between AMEA Power and Société Nationale d’Électricité (SNEL), the national electricity company of DRC.
The MoU was signed at the recently concluded annual investment meeting at Expo 2020, held in Dubai. The General Manager of AMEA Power, Mohamed H. Al Nowais, and the Director-General of the SNEL, Jean-Bosco Kayombo Kayan, represented their respective organizations.
The deal was signed in the presence of UAE’s Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy, Abdulla Alsaleh, DRC’s Deputy Minister of Planning, Crispin Mbadu, along with the Director-General of the National Agency for Investment Promotion (ANAPI) of DRC, Anthony Nkinzo Kamole.
SNEL Director-General said that UAE plans on exploring the country’s renewable energy sector, where the future solar plant will see millions of people get connected to the national power grid. Both the countries will have a year to actualize the partnership.
“The MoU is the beginning of a partnership that will see DRC’s electricity sector growing to the next level. We shall conduct a feasibility study to see where the need is, after which investors will begin work,” Kayombo Kayan said.
Amea Power is continuing its expansion in Central Africa where the company has planned to build a 50 MWp solar photovoltaic power plant in Oyem, in Gabon. The subsidiary of Al Nowais Investments (ANI) group has now set its eye on the DRC’s energy sector, where the energy challenge is much greater.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has immense renewable energy potential, including hydroelectric, biomass, solar, and geothermal power. But the country has just an installed electricity capacity of 2,844 MW. According to the World Bank, the DRC has an electricity access rate of only 19 to 20%, for a population of 84 million.
To develop renewable energy capacities and reduce dependency on energy imports, DRC is attracting many private investors, including decentralized solar energy providers. Last year in December, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank Group’s private sector financing arm, and IPP Globeleq announced the development of a 100 MWp solar PV plant in Kolwezi in Lualaba Province.