SOUTH AFRICAN UTILITY Eskom is playing a key role in the development of a number of African hydro projects including the five nation Inga III on the Congo river.

The scheme is expected to be one of the largest hydro projects in the world, and will involve the construction of the 3500MW Inga III hydro power station at a cost of US$4B. It is anticipated that the project will be completed by 2010.

Eskom Enterprises (EE) officials say the company plans to spend about US$605M on other electricity and energy projects in Africa over the next 10 years. These projects include the recent acquisition of 51% of the Lunsemfwa hydro power company in Zambia and winning the Uganda electricity concession in November 2003.

The latter granted EE a 20-year concession to operate and maintain the 180MW Nalubale and 200MW Kiiri hydro stations, situated at Jinja, the point where the Nile starts its journey from Lake Victoria.

EE has also been appointed as operator of the Manantali project in Mali for the next 15 years. It includes management of the Manantali dam; a 200MW hydro power station; associated 225kV transmission lines.