H.E. Didier Budimbu Ntubuanga, Minister of Hydrocarbons of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is coming to Cape Town in November for African Energy Week (AEW) 2021. Confirmed as a speaker at Africa’s premier energy event, H.E. Minister Ntubuanga is dedicated to improving regional relations, attracting critical investment, and showcasing the significant oil, gas, and renewable potential of the DRC. By promoting the country’s resources and emphasizing the opportunities for investors, the Minister is committed to accelerating energy and economic growth, positioning the country as a competitor in the big leagues.
The DRC holds the second-largest crude oil reserves in Central and Southern Africa after Angola, with proven reserves sitting at 180 million barrels while estimated reserves are as high as 5 billion barrels. Primarily located in the four major lakes, these reserves have the potential to dramatically increase production and exports, initiating sustainable economic development for the region. Currently, French oil major Total and DRC parastatal Cohydro are undertaking exploratory and preliminary extractive activities in the Eastern DRC, with Anglo-French firm Perenco comprising the only oil company producing in the DRC with 23,000 boepd produced in 2020. The company operates 11 fields onshore and offshore as well as the Kalamu floating terminal with 1 million barrels of oil storage capacity. With no refineries in the country, the DRC exports all of its production capacity, relying on refined product imports to sustain its economy. Therefore, a significant investment opportunity has emerged, and H.E. Minister Ntubuanga is keen on capitalizing on it at AEW 2021.
In addition to significant oil reserves, the DRC has approximately 30 billion cubic meters of methane and natural gas. With little to no development in this field, the DRC has the opportunity to leverage these resources for power generation, with methane, in particular, providing a unique power opportunity. Already, neighboring Rwanda has seen some success in this area with the operation of the KivuWatt power plant. By focusing on development in this field, and driving investment at AEW 2021, H.E. Minister Ntubuanga can significantly enhance electrification, spurring economic development in the process.
The DRC holds some of the most impressive energy resources not only on the continent, but in the world
The International Trade Administration suggests that with its significant oil and gas reserves, and a comparatively low production rate, there is room for international organizations with onshore and offshore operational experience to establish a strong foothold in the DRC, accelerating socio-economic development through energy sector advancement. By showcasing the immense potential of the DRC oil and gas sector in Cape Town, H.E. Minister Ntubuanga can engage with investors, financial institutions, and private sector executives, and drive growth across the country’s burgeoning energy sector.
“The DRC holds some of the most impressive energy resources not only on the continent but in the world. With potential in the oil, natural gas, and renewable sectors, the country is well on its way to transforming its energy and economic environment. What the DRC urgently needs is an investment, and AEW 2021 provides the best platform by which this can be attained. The event unites global and regional stakeholders in Cape Town, emphasizing networking, engagement, and deal-making. We are confident that the DRC will establish fundamental partnerships and sign transformative deals that will elevate the country to global energy success,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.
Meanwhile, the DRC holds some of the largest hydropower potentials in Africa – estimated at 100,000MW – leading to a renewed focus to further capitalize on its significant resources through the expansion of existing hydroelectric facilities. 96% of power generation in the DRC comes from hydropower, the bulk of which derives from the Inga I and Inga II dams located in the Kongo Central Province. With an installed capacity of 1,775MW, and new plans to expand the facility to produce a cumulative output capacity of 42,000MW through the Inga III project, the DRC is positioning itself as a regional renewable power producer.
Despite the potential of its hydropower resources, the DRC represents the third-largest population in the world without access to electricity. Accordingly, the government is ramping up its efforts to significantly increase electrification country-wide and is seeking regional and international investment to do so. The DRC’s well-positioned and largely untapped solar and hydropower resources make it one of the highest potential markets in Africa, and by engaging with H.E. Minister Ntubuanga at AEW 2021 in Cape Town, investors will be introduced to lucrative business opportunities across the DRC power sector. The World Bank posits that the investment needs in the power sector vastly exceed the government’s fiscal capacity, and therefore, the Minister is focused on attracting private capital and international strategic partnerships at AEW 2021.