Powering homes and businesses in three isolated cities in the DRC
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), only around 19% of people have access to power. And that figure falls to just 1% in rural areas. According to the World Bank Enterprise survey, 90% of firms experience electrical outages, costing 8% of annual sales.
In response to these challenges, we’re developing Moyi Power, a project to develop solar-hybrid minigrids in three cities in the north of the country: Bumba, Gemena and Isiro. In Bumba, there is currently no access to grid power, while Gemena and Isiro have a limited city grid run for just a few hours per day.
“Whether it’s households, offices or industries, they need electrical power. That is what is missing in Isiro.”
Mago Takanyato, President, Federation of Enterprises, Haut-Uele region, DRC
Watch the video below to find out the impact 24/7 power will have on people’s lives.
What will be the impact of Moyi Power?
The impact of the project will be wide-reaching in three cities where the average individual income is around US$1 per day.
Moyi Power is expected to provide electricity to 250,000 people after five years of operation, and more than a million by the end of the 22-year concession.
Currently, in Bumba, Gemena and Isiro, businesses rely primarily on diesel generators (which are expensive and polluting) or small scale solar PV-powered generation (limiting their scope for productive use). The reliable and affordable electricity that Moyi will bring will enable local firms to produce more goods.
“Due to a lack of energy capacity, we can’t make products. It’s an issue for businesses.”
Boniface Katembo-Fenapec, Federation of Artesans and SMEs (Isiro)
The power supply Moyi will deliver will also enable people to work into the evening. And there will be free street lighting provided by the company, helping to make communities safer at night.
“Even if we need to work, we have to go back very early because there is no light.”
Elizabeth Katanyonge, Head, Provincial Women and Children’s Office (Isiro)
“We envision a situation where there will be reduced gender-based violence because there will be free street lighting in these communities.”
Louiza Kabiru, ESG Lead, Gridworks
Why are we developing Moyi Power?
Moyi Power was borne out of the Essor Project, a UK government-funded process to improve access to electricty in isolated cities in the DRC. A Gridworks-led consortium was selected as the winning bidder for the project.
We’re developing Moyi Power alongside our partners Eranove, a company that operates a number of power generation plants and power and water utilities across Africa, and AEE Power, a power developer and construction company with extensive experience in the DRC. The initial investment for the three sites will be at least US$120 million, funded with a mixture of equity from the consortium, debt provided by development finance institutions (DFIs) and capital grants from donors and DFIs.
“What we liked about Moyi Power was that this was the first greenfield grid investment that was sustainable and investable.”
Simon Hodson, CEO, Gridworks
We wanted to develop Moyi Power because of the project’s scale and its strong government and regulatory support. We believe that it can also become a standard-bearer across the African continent and be replicated across similar cities. Since Moyi Power was launched, for example, there has been significant interest in the concept of creating minigrids at this scale (or small greenfield utilities), and with strict regulatory frameworks or contractual protection for investors.
“We think Moyi Power will be able to attract more private investment into the sector because it’s a proof of concept that electrification on this scale is possible, given the clear regulatory and tariff framework.”
Caroline Bucalo, Associate, Gridworks
What happens next?
We’re raising the finance for the project from a mix of international impact investors, after which we will begin an 18-month construction period. Moyi will then start operating the three utilities and provide power for the people of the three cities.
Watch the video below to find out more about why we wanted to develop Moyi Power.