The governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Republic of Zambia signed an Intergovernmental Memorandum of Understanding (IGMOU) on 9 July 2015 for the joint development of generation projects in the Luapula River Basin and for a new power interconnector between the two countries. The national power utilities of the two countries entered into specific memoranda of understandings for the development of the generation projects and for the power interconnector respectively. The Inter Utility Memorandum of Understanding for the power interconnector was also signed on 9 July 2015.
The Luapula River was initially investigated for hydropower development by the Zambian Government in 1976 during which time five sites indicated below were established and investigated. Later in 2001, ZESCO LTD confirmed the potential of over 1188MW of which more than 773MW is firm capacity. However, previous project development plans were constrained because the development plans were only coordinated from one country despite the location of the river being on the border.
The project serves a planned infrastructure asset of another sector, but there is more than 50% overlap in the geography serviced by the proposed project and the other sector planned asset.