Congo, Democratic Republic of the (DROC) - Energy and power





Offshore oil production began in 1975. Eight Atlantic Ocean and Congo River estuary oil fields are in operation: one is a consortium composed of Zaire Gulf Oil Co. (Chevron), Teikoku Co. (a Japanese company), and Union Oil Co.; another is run by Petrofina. Production in 1999 totaled 25,100 barrels per day. Proven reserves amount to 187 million barrels, with offshore reserves accounting for only 20%. Large quantities of methane gas have been located at Lake Kivu, which is shared with Rwanda. Oil product imports consist of gasoline, jet fuel, kerosene, aviation gas, fuel oil, and liquefied petroleum gas.

The DROC has vast resources for the development of hydroelectric power: its potential is thought to exceed 100 million kW, enough to provide all of east and central Africa with energy. In fact, less than 3% of that potential has been harnessed. In 2001, installed capacity came to 2,473,000 kW, of which only a small portion was thermal. Production was 5.5 billion kWh, of which 98% was from hydropower and the remainder from fossil fuels. More than half was used for mining and metallurgy in Shaba. Electricity consumption was 4.55 billion kWh in 2000.

The most important hydroelectric site is at Inga, on the lower Congo River, which provides most of installed capacity. A high-voltage transmission line more than 1,700 km (1,100 mi) long was completed in 1982 to carry some of the surplus power generated at Inga to the mining centers of the southeast. As of 2002, the government planned to expand the Inga and Inga II (2,000 MW) facilities by constucting Inga III and Grand Inga (40,000 MW) facilities.

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