Canada’s MagEnergy, a unit of MagIndustries Corp, has signed an agreement to develop the Busanga hydroelectric site on the Lualaba river in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The agreement was concluded with the Ministry of Energy and follows the appointment of MagEnergy as an independent power producer (IPP) in DRC.

Busanga lies about 65km north of Kolwezi in DRC’s Katanga province and has been the subject of previous technical studies, with the site expected to support the production of between 300 and 350MW.

MagEnergy will initially collect and review existing technical studies before proceeding with its own feasibility work. The feasibility is expected to include civil engineering, hydro mechanical, electrical equipment and environmental impact. Assuming a positive feasibility study, MagEnergy intends to proceed to project financing of the Busanga site by the second quarter of 2007.

MagEnergy intends to build, own and operate Busanga as an IPP, which will allow for the direct negotiation and sale of electricity to end users. MagEnergy would utilise the transmission grid of Societe Nationale d’Electricite (SNEL), the electric utility of DRC, with whom the company will maintain an ongoing dialogue during development and operation.

The agreement is in line with the continuing support of the government of DRC for establishing public private partnerships in the framework of developing the country’s energy resources.