Lualaba is now part of one of the new provinces of the country to have solved the problem of electricity supply thanks, as we know, to the hydroelectric power station with a capacity of 240 MW built on the river that bears its name. This is the Busanga dam for which Sicohydro SA (Sino-Congolese Hydroelectric) had obtained from the Government in August 2016 a concession allocated to this infrastructure located 110 km from Kolwezi…
Indeed, within the framework of the “Infrastructures-Minerals” partnership known as the “Sino-Congolese Contract”, Sicomines – a joint venture formed by Gécamines and the Grouping of Chinese Companies – initially found itself faced with a real difficulty in optimizing its production: the lack of electricity. However, the mining industry is by nature a large consumer of electrical energy.
Also, in 2016, having become concessionaire of the Busanga site, Sicohydro SA will make Sicomines SA, the Gécamines Group, Congo Management and Snel co-shareholders in the construction and operation of the said dam for a period of 30 years.
Of the 240 MW planned, 170 MW are reserved for mining and 70 MW for the national grid managed by Snel.
By way of comparison, the share made available to this network is greater than the production capacity of the Katende dam for the provinces of Kasaï Central and Kasaï Oriental (64 MW), more than that of Kakobola for the provinces of Kwilu and Kwango (10.4 MW).
As a result, Busanga becomes the most important hydroelectric power station in the whole of Katanga. And the big news is that it took about sixty years for it to acquire a hydroelectric power station of such capacity. It is an asset to the credit of Sino-Congolese cooperation.
STEPS COMPLETED AND RESPECTED ONE BY ONE
In documentation from Sicomines SA made available to the media, it is stated, downstream, that the Busanga dam “aims to promote an increase in local initiatives for employment, all the more so since the project has actively encouraged the management of localized employment, solved more than 3,000 (three thousand) jobs, trained operational skills, increased the level of income and improved the living conditions of the populations”, this in addition to the optimization of mining production by upstream.
Still downstream, Sicomines SA considers that “the improvement of the local environment remains a necessity for the local population through, in particular, the construction of a new village equipped with public facilities, in this case a school, a hospital, roads, drinking water wells etc. to which are added special compensation funds that have completely changed the framework and living conditions of the inhabitants to be relocated”.
Result of an assumed determination that allowed the concessionaire to comply with all the conditions set by the public authorities, the planned stages were completed one after the other, from 2015 to 2021.
It is for this reason that the Busanga power plant project won the “Luban Prize”, the highest honor in the construction sector in China among the internationally renowned awards and, later, Sicohydro received the “Exceptional Development Company 2021” at the 5th National Energy Conference organized by the FEC in Lubumbashi (Haut-Katanga) for the construction of the modern Busanga hydroelectric power plant.
“Whether it is design, construction, equipment manufacturing, installation or receipt of the whole chain, the project that has fully exploited the technical advantages and experiences of China’s infrastructure construction, can effectively promote the construction of infrastructure in Congo (DRC) and foster the coordinated development of the regional economy,” says Sicomines SA, the flagship of Sino-Congolese cooperation.