Technical Investigations

Kipay Investments

Kipay started the feasibility studies for Sombwe Hydropower Scheme in 2014.
All legal formalities are approved, also the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA).

Technical studies

  • Access to hydropower site and Sombwe Camp
  • Topography
  • Geophysics
  • Characteristics of the layout
  • Geotechnics
  • Power purchase agreement (PPA)/
  • Transmission line (Separate study)
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dam in KAtanga

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Access to the site and Camp

Access to a hydroelectric site is the first step and it makes technical feasibility studies and field work possible. In 2015 the hydroelectric site was identified by helicopter due to no excising road or path leading there. KIPAY has constructed a 50 km road to make the site accessible by vehicles and to supply equipment for the technical feasibility studies.

Access to the site and Camp

The nearest village Kalera is located 50 km from the site. To save time and be efficient KIPAY established Camp Sombew in September 2016. The camp has hosted KIPAY representatives, local workers from the Kalera village and KIPAY contractors (Rubaco, Ingérop, Knight Piésold)


The Sombwe hydroelectric site was identified through comprehensive surveys using the existing cartography as well as the map made by the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Belgium anno 1952. To improve the topography of the site KIPAY has created a LIDAR cartography covering an area of 209km2. From Sombwe to Kiubo: 45 km in linear distance.

Flow Estimates

Accurate flow estimates are a vital part of a hydropower feasibility study because they form the basis of the performance and income predictions for the hydro system. A hydrological study must be based on actual chronologically quantities of water, in general daily instant flows, and in particular hydrological conditions like: Pluviometry (the measurement of rainfall), Evaporation, Sedimentation, Flood and Base flow.

Why choose Us?

Hydrological Studies

Upstream of the Sombwe hydroelectric site you find Mwadingusha and Koni Hydroelectric Dams ( around 160 km in linear distance). The hydrological studies were based on historical hydrometric data of the assumed power stations (the Lufira river watershed), implementation of some measurements of the flows made to the Kiubo-Sombwe section and the satellite rainfall data covering a period of 100 years (1915 to 2014) of the study area.

To size foundations or ensure the stability of structures, it is essential to know the structure and nature of the soil and subsoil. The data collected feeds the technical studies, which determine the characteristics of the structures according to the mechanical capacities of the soil and subsoil and the constraints of the structures.
Geotechnical. At the Sombwe site, two geophysical processes were used:Magnetometry (preliminary geophysical study) and Electric tomography (final geophysical study).

The geotechnical survey for Sombwe hydroelectric site is finalized and extracted cores are sent to South Africa for laboratory analyses, the first results of which show the predominance of hard rock (quartzite).