A hydro power plant financed and built by the China National Machinery & Equipment Import & Export Corporation (CMEC) was inaugurated in the Republic of Congo over the weekend. The Chinese state offered soft loans at a nominal interest rate to defray approximately 85 percent of the costs for the power plant.
The hydro power plant is expected to produce 876 million kilowatt-hours a year, thus relieving The Republic of Congo from importing energy from its neighbor, the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Should the plant function at its maximum capacity, it will allow the Republic of Congo to be self-sufficient in meeting its annual energy requirements.
This is only the latest energy related projects financed by the Republic of China in Africa, one that is expected to increase its symbolic capital on the continent.
Chinese President Hu Jintao last met with President Denis Sassou Nguesso in Shanghai, in April of 2010, at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. On that occasion, the Chinese President congratulated his counterpart for promoting the continuous development of bilateral ties between the two countries, calling him an “old and close friend.”