Zaire President Mobutu Sese Seko inaugurated the Congo River's first-ever hydro-electric dam on Sunday (November 26).
Zaire President Mobutu Sese Seko inaugurated the Congo River's first-ever hydro-electric dam on Sunday (November 26). The ceremony was attended by a large number of personalities from home and abroad - headed by President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia; and Prince Albert of Liege, representing his brother, King Baudouin of Belgium.
The new hydro complex is sited at Inga, about 15 miles (24 kilometres) from Zaire's main port at Matadi, and 250 miles (400 kilometres) South-West of the Capital, Kinshasa.
Although originally conceived by the Belgians prior to independence of the Congo, the dam was actually built by the Sicai Company - a group combining the state-controlled IRI of Zaire, and the Astaldi Construction Company of Italy.
The dam now two 56 Megawatt alternators, another four will be added soon to bring the total capacity up to 330 Megawatts. Eventually, linking up with another dam which is to be built one or two miles (two to three kms) upstream from the Inga Dam, the Congo River scheme is expected to supply about 1,000 megawatts annually in ten years time.