Australia’s Fortescue in talks to develop mega hydro project in DRC

Australian mining giant Fortescue Metals Group has revealed it was in talks with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to develop a hydroelectric power project that would become the largest in the world.

In a filing to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), Fortescue said no formal binding agreement has been concluded with regards to the exclusive development of the Grand Inga Hydroelectric projects by Fortescue’s green energy unit.

The proposed project would extend two dams at Inga Falls – one of the biggest waterfalls in the world – located around 225 km Southwest of DRC’s capital city Kinshasa.

Development costs have been estimated at US$80 billion for the project, which could potentially supply 42GW of clean power to sub-Saharan Africa. This is roughly double the size of the world’s current largest hydro project – China’s Three Gorges dam.

“The DRC Government has invited interested corporations and governments to contact Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) if they have investment or service interest in the Inga Projects on the condition that personnel will be trained and sourced from the DRC as Fortescue has done in Australia,” Fortescue said.

Fortescue has said it plans to fund the majority of its green energy projects off its balance sheet, investing about $1 billion a year of its own money.