UPDATE 1-BHP not to build Congo plant, setback for hydro plan

16 February 2012

KINSHASA, Feb 15 (Reuters) - BHP Billiton's decision to abandon plans for an aluminium smelter in the Democratic Republic of Congo could create problems for the planned Inga 3 hydro power project, the energy minister said on Wednesday.

"The problem is real but there are alternative solutions," Energy Minister Gilbert Tshiongo told Reuters, but added the government was confident of finding other backing for the project.

"There are other clients, there is the domestic demand, there is demand also from the exterior. Inga was not mainly for the exterior but for interior consumption," Tshiongo said.

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