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The Grand Inga Dam is a proposed hydroelectric dam on the Congo River at Inga Falls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Grand Inga Dam
Inga 2006-projet.svg
Location of the Grand Inga Dam (lower centre), along with other Inga Dams.
Grand Inga Dam is located in Democratic Republic of the Congo
Grand Inga Dam
Location of the Grand Inga in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
CountryDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Coordinates05°32′45″S 13°33′25″E / 5.54583°S 13.55694°E / -5.54583; 13.55694Coordinates: 05°32′45″S 13°33′25″E / 5.54583°S 13.55694°E / -5.54583; 13.55694
Construction costUS$80 billion
Dam and spillways
ImpoundsCongo River
Height205 m (673 ft)
Power Station
Turbines52 × 750 MW (1,010,000 hp)
Installed capacity39,000 MW (52,000,000 hp) (proposed)

The proposed dam is the fourth and largest of the Inga dams, 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from Inga-I, 7.3 kilometres (4.5 mi) from Inga-II, and 6.5 kilometres (4.0 mi) from the proposed Inga-III.

The dam has an expected generating capacity of 39,000 megawatt (MW), with 52 turbines each with a capacity of 750 MW (1,010,000 hp).[1] This is close to twice the capacity of the Three Gorges Dam, which as of 2019 is the world's largest electric power station.

The basisEdit

Inga Falls on the Congo River is a group of rapids (or cataracts) in the latter portion of the Livingstone Falls. The Congo falls ~96 metres (315 ft) within this set of cataracts. The mean annual flow rate of the Congo River at Inga Falls is ~42,000 cubic metres per second (1,500,000 cu ft/s). Given this flow rate and the 96 metre fall, the Inga Falls alone has a potential to generate ~39.6 gigawatts (53,100,000 hp) of mechanical energy and nearly as much electrical energy.

Inga Falls is currently the site of two large hydro power plants and is being considered for a much larger hydro power generating station known as Grand Inga. The Grand Inga project, if completed, would be the largest hydro-electric power generating facility in the world. The current project scope calls for the use of a flow rate ~26,400 cubic metres per second at a net head of ~150 metres; this is equivalent to a generating capacity of ~38.9 GW. This hydro-electric generator would be more than double the current world record holder, which is the Three Gorges facility on the Yangtze River in China.

Grand Inga is a "run-of-the-river" hydroelectric project in which only a relatively small reservoir would be created to back up the power of the river's flow. This would be so that the net head for the hydroelectric turbines could approach 150 metres.


The secretary general of the World Energy Council noted that the project is at a high level of success with the project being more feasible now than ever, during a two-day discussion regarding the development strategies.[2]

As of January 2011, the project is in the feasibility study stage.[3]

The project is expected to top US$100 billion in total development costs.[4][5] On May 2016 construction looked as if it would begin within several months.[6][7] However, on July 2016 the World Bank withdrew its funding following disagreements over the project. The first phase grant would have totaled US$73.1 million.[8]

Some observers are skeptical of the project, citing its high cost in a country known for its endemic corruption—risking little benefit to the population.[1][9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Grand Inga development
  2. ^ Grand Inga Dam to power Africa
  3. ^ "Aecom, EDF partner for Grand Inga hydropower project feasibility study in Congo". 2 March 2011. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  4. ^ The Grand Inga Dam
  5. ^ Hill, Matthew; Wilson, Tom (7 May 2016). "DR Congo moves to build $100 billion Grand Inga dam, to pick phase-1 contractor by August". Mail & Guardian Africa. Archived from the original on 8 May 2016. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  6. ^ John, Vidal (28 May 2016). "Construction of world's largest dam in DR Congo could begin within months". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 26 August 2016. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  7. ^ Tim, Cashion (23 June 2016). "A grand plan to electrify Congo and Africa". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on 26 August 2016. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  8. ^ "World Bank suspends funding for DR Congo's Inga 3 power project". Africanews. 26 July 2016. Archived from the original on 27 July 2016. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  9. ^ Tom, Nevin (13 May 2016). "Congo's Grand Inga plan faces a watershed". Times Media. Archived from the original on 14 May 2016. Retrieved 27 August 2016.