Projektteam vor einem Haus in Bugarula
News 2019-06-06

io supports Engineers Without Borders | US

Successful completion of first construction phase of hydropower project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.



As part of the “Hydroélectricité Idjwi” project, students of Engineers Without Borders - KIT e.V. (EWB), helped local project partner NGO Prolasa expand a hydropower plant to improve the electricity supply of Bugarula, a town on Idjwi island in the eastern part of the DRC. io-consultants supported the students in estimating and managing the project times and costs before beginning the first construction phase.

Seven members of EWB – KIT e.V. took part in a workshop on project scheduling and cost estimation methods that io-consultants conducted at its headquarters in Heidelberg in June last year as a support measure for their Idjwi project. The company’s Architecture and Project Management experts used the Last Planner® System to demonstrate a variety of scheduling methods and a cost management approach to help the project team define their next steps. The solutions the students came up with during the workshop served as the basis for the cooperation with the local project partners on site.

First construction phase successfully completed

Construction work of the project started on October 1, 2018. Prolasa had already built an industrial campus on Idjwi including a juice factory, a number of mills and a soap factory. However, the planned expansion of the campus required much more electricity than could actually be generated by the current hydroelectric power plant. It became necessary to replace the existing hydropower plant with a more efficient one. A penstock/downpipe was installed at the end of the canal directly above the power house to accelerate the water mass through to the turbine in the power house. A new low-voltage link was built and a distribution network installed to transport the electricity from the power house to the campus, creating a power link of 700 m in total. The first construction phase was successfully completed in December 2018.

The second phase of the project includes the installation of a new turbine to significantly increase the output of the hydropower plant and insure the supply to large-scale consumers in the area. By the time all three project phases have been completed, the entire drop height of the river will be used, making available up to 120 kilowatts, depending on the season.

Support Methods

io-consultants has been a supporting member of Engineers Without Borders since 2016. The company has contributed its architectural, logistics, factory planning and IT expertise in many workshops similar to these. io‑consultants also regularly assists the association financially, and provided extra funding for this project to cover some of the costs for the upcoming construction phase. io-consultants continues to support the project and is available to the EWB team whenever they have any questions.

For more information on the Engineers Without Borders project, visit

You can also support the project by making a donation:

EWB - KIT e.V.

Subject: Donation Congo

Sparkasse Karlsruhe

IBAN: DE25 6605 0101 0108 0856 55


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