oil and gas

Rwanda four-year energy project gets $180m boost

May 6, 2022

Rwanda’s four-year energy project has received $180 million from the African Development Bank in a financing deal to raise the number of homes connected to electricity in the next two years.

The money is in addition to the $84 million Rwanda received in May last year.

Slightly over half of Rwanda’s 13 million population currently have access to electricity.

The African Development Bank loan will finance the construction of more than 1,000 kilometres of medium voltage and 3,300 kilometres of low voltage lines to boost last-mile access. It will also build 137 kilometres of high voltage lines and six substations. It is expected to connect 77,470 households to the electricity network for the first time.

The project will also hook up 75 schools, eight health and 65 administration centres, and enable the evacuation of 125MW of clean energy from hydropower plants. It will create 455 permanent jobs and 760 part-time jobs, and strengthen the network in Kigali’s commercial areas.

“The project will contribute to transition Rwanda from a developing country to a middle-income country by 2035,” said Aissa Tour-Sarr, the African Development Bank’s country manager in Rwanda, during the approval of the project.

Two years away from the deadline, some major electricity projects have been delayed despite heavy donations and investments. Last year, the 80-megawatt Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project was reported to have been delayed by two years due to procurement flaws. The project is a joint venture by Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania. It is funded by the African Development Bank and the World Bank.

An audit carried out by the auditors-general from the three countries cautioned that the estimates on project delivery are unrealistic, and uncertainties over completion time and deficiencies in feasibility studies could see the initial cost of the project continue to rise. The project’s initial completion date was 2021, with a budget of $468 million.

It was to provide renewable, clean, relatively low-cost power to the national grids of Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania.

theeastafrican



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