Featured Project

11 MW Azambi Hydroelectric Project

The 11 MW Azambi Hydroelectric Project is located in a remote area of the Haut-Uele province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Kibali Gold Mine, which is operated by Barrick and owned by a joint venture company composed of Barrick, AngloGold Ashanti, and Société Minière de Kilo-Moto, has developed the project to support the increasing power demands of one of the largest gold mining operations in Africa.

Knight Piésold’s Role

Knight Piésold assisted Kibali Gold Mine to develop a purpose-built, low-impact, and cost-effective run-of-river hydroelectric project, including project optimization, project development, detailed engineering, and construction and commissioning supervision. Services included:

  • Geotechnical investigations
  • Hydrology studies
  • Project optimization
  • Detailed design
  • Contracts and construction management

The project includes a low height diversion structure and overflow weir, a run-of-river power intake equipped with sediment handling facilities and control gates, a power canal and emergency spillway, headrace structures including fine trashracks and control gates, a surface powerhouse housing the turbine-generator units, a tailrace channel isolated from the main river, and a switchgear and transmission line.

The project produces approximately 64 GWh of renewable, reliable electricity each year to power the mine, reducing the mine’s overall energy cost by approximately 75% and its reliance on diesel fuel—equivalent to US$19.2 million per year in savings. A portion of the mine’s power grid capacity is provided for free to local communities, reducing their reliance on deforestation for energy supply. The project will ultimately become a legacy asset for future generations in the local communities once the mine has reached its end of life.

  • Award of Merit, Energy & Industry Category, 2019 ACEC-BC Awards for Engineering Excellence
  • Winner, International Project of the Year Category, 2019 SAICE Johannesburg Branch Regional Awards
  • Winner, Best International Project Category, 2019 CESA Aon Engineering Excellence Awards