The World Bank Group has announced it has suspended disbursements of funding to the Inga-3 project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), due, it says, to the Government of DRC’s decision to take the project in a different strategic direction to that originally agreed in 2014.
On March 20, 2014 the World Bank’s Board approved a US$73.1-million grant from its International Development Association (IDA) for the Inga-3 Basse Chute (BC) & Mid-Size Hydropower Development Technical Assistance (TA) Project, consisting of Inga-3 BC development support (US$47.5 million) and mid-size hydropower development support (US$25.6 million). At the time of suspension, approximately 6% of total project financing had been disbursed.
The Inga component of the TA project aimed to finance a flexible suite of technical assistance, including strategic advice to the Government, complementary studies, capacity building, and institutional strengthening. The IDA TA project aimed to support a government-led process for the transparent development of Inga-3 BC as a public private partnership. The World Bank Group is in a continuing dialogue with the Government about the implementation arrangements of the project, with the goal of ensuring that it follows international good practice.
In a statement, the World Bank Group said it remains committed to supporting the DRC in its efforts to provide affordable and reliable energy for its people and to drive sustainable sources of growth for its economy. Beyond the Inga project, it will remain engaged in the electricity sector in DRC by focusing on improving the performance of the State Utility SNEL, rehabilitating mid-size hydropower plants, increasing energy access, and continuing support to regional transmission interconnections.