Hydropower Project (HPP) Sombwe
The Sombwe project is a hydropower initiative situated on the Lufira River, located 30 kilometers downstream from Kiubo Falls in the southern DRC.
Nestled deep within the copper belt in the north of Haut-Katanga province, Sombwe sits 300 km north of Lubumbashi and 200 km east of the mining city Kolwezi, downstream from two established hydropower developments at Koni and Mwadingusha.
The project will entail the construction of a 94 m high Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) arch gravity dam wall to impound a reservoir with storage capacity of approximately 320 million cubic metres. The construction period is set at four years.
The project will connect to the national grid in Fungurume, and a high-voltage transmission line will be constructed.
A Hybrid Solution
The Sombwe Hydropower Project (HPP) introduces a hybrid renewable energy solution. A photovoltaic solar plant is set to generate 46 MWp, supplementing off-takers' power demand during the dry season, particularly at times of low water levels. The Environmental Flow (EF) will form part of an Electrification Project aimed at empowering local communities within the project's vicinity.
Sombwe in numbers
Height of Dam Wall
TOTAL INVESTMENT 500 Million USD
CAPITAL STRUCTURE EQUITY30%
CAPITAL STRUCTURE DEBT70%
A Catalyst for Economic Development
Haut-Katanga province grapples with a significant electrical energy deficit, arising from a mismatch between constrained supply and escalating demand. This discrepancy primarily stems from the expansion of economic activities, particularly in the mining sector, coupled with population growth.
The mining industry's energy requirements alone stand at an estimated 1,267 MW, with only 725 MW currently available.
The generation of 166 MW energy from Sombwe HPP will bring about substantial benefits:
A Positive Socio-Economic Impact
The Sombwe Hydropower Project is anticipated to yield a substantial positive influence on the evolution of the affected area and the broader Katanga region.
The electricity generated by this initiative will be strategically distributed not only to mining enterprises and residential zones in the vicinity, but also to local communities via prepaid solutions within the project's sphere. By offering a reliable power supply to these local communities, the project is poised to foster opportunities for income generation. These opportunities will likely stem from diverse activities such as agro-processing and the establishment of small-scale businesses.
Additionally, the project has set forth plans to integrate a community engagement approach, alongside a benefit-sharing strategy, thus further enhancing its socioeconomic impact.