Congo’s Grand Inga: World’s biggest hydroelectric project gets new push

Plans for the world’s largest hydroelectric project have been given new momentum. Australia’s Fortescue Metals Group has been awarded exclusive rights to develop the Grand Inga network of dams in Congo that would be twice the size of the current global biggest.

The aim is to use the powerful Inga Falls at the mouth of the Congo River to generate vast amounts of electricity. For it to work, up to six more dams – on top of two already there – and several power plants need to be built.

The finished project would be capable of producing at least 40 gigawatts of electricity – twice as much as China’s Three Gorges dam, which is currently the world’s largest. It’s enough power to cover around 40 percent of Africa’s power needs.

Total costs for the project are estimated to be about 80 billion dollars. Grand Inga has been in the offing since the 1990s, but until now, there was not enough money to make it happen.