Although the DRC has 60 percent of Africas hydroelectric potential, only 7 percent of the countrys population has access to electricity. Lack of local demand has led the DRC to export to SINELAC, Angola, Burundi, the Congo, Rwanda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In 2001, electricity production was 5.243 billion kWh, of which 3.839 billion kWh was consumed and 1.097 billion kWh was exported.
The DRC has the potential to produce 150,000 megawatts of power, approximately three times Africas present consumption. The Congo river is the most magnificent wealth of the country. Second only to the Amazon river in terms of water volume, it stretches a distance of almost 4,300 kilometres. For electricity production as well as water, the potential of the Congo river remains largely unused.
The Inga Falls on the Congo river has a potential generating capacity that equals that of all Southern African countries put together. There are plans to raise the generation capacity of the Inga hydroelectric power station to 44,000 megawatts by 2010.
The government has agreements with South Africas Eskom to strengthen the Inga-Kolwezi and Inga-South Africa interconnections, as well as to construct a second power line that will supply power to Kinshasa. The Kinshasa city electricity distribution network will be managed by Eskom. A feasibility study looking at how to make use of this electrical potential by exporting it to Angola, Namibia, Egypt and South Africa is also being conducted.
The State-owned Société Nationale dElectricité (SNEL), established in 1970, is responsible for electricity generation, transmission and distribution.
Other organisations generating electricity include SINELAC which was established by Burundi, Rwanda and Zaire to develop international electricity projects.
Société International d’Electricite des Pays des Grands LACS, Societe National d’Electricite Zaire
Ambwe/Kailo, Belia, Budana, Inga I, Inga II, Kilubu, Koni, Kwadingusha, Kyimbi, Lulingu, Lungudi, Lutshunkuru, Mangembe, Mobayi, Mobayi-Mbongo, Moga, Mpozo, Mwadingusha, Nzeke, Nzilo