$214 million Nyabarongo hydro power plant to generate 43.5 megawatts

By The Inspirer

Rwanda’s efforts to achieve universal access to electricity by 2024 have received a boost after a deal that will see China’s SynoHydro build the Nyabarongo-II Hydropower Plant. The 43.5MW plant is expected to be in operation in five years time at a cost of $214 million.

Minister Claver Gatete (3rd left) witnessed the signing of the amendment to the contract between EDCL and SynoHydro Ltd in Kigali. Courtesy.

According to Energy Development Corporation Limited (EDCL), once complete, the project will contribute to over 11.5 per cent of the total electricity on the national grid.

Théoneste Higaniro, Head of Power Generation Projects Implementation at EDCL, explained that in addition to this amount, the Government will avail more money for expropriations and project management fees.

EDCL and SynoHydro Ltd signed an amendment to their June 6, 2018 agreement on the design, supply, construction, installation and commissioning of the plant.

In addition to electricity generation, Higaniro said the multipurpose dam will be used for flood control and paving way for irrigation systems and reclaiming land for agricultural activities downstream.

The project is projected to create some 900 direct and indirect job opportunities

The first phase of the project, Nyabarongo I hydropower project, produces 28MW and is only designed for power generation purpose.

With concerns over insufficient water in Nyabarongo river owing to human activities such as mining that lead to huge deposits of sand or soil in the river, energy experts say that the plant’s capacity could be affected.

Higaniro moved to allay these concerns, saying that REG will work with stakeholders in environmental management to minimise the impact of human activity the River.

This, he added, will ensure a steady supply of water and hence minimise the impact to the project.

Currently, Rwanda generates electricity from 40 power plants, mainly hydro projects, according to REG figures.

REG says that efforts to build more plants and upgrade existing ones are underway and will add 400MW by the year 2024.

Some 51 per cent of Rwandan households have access to electricity, with 37 per cent connected to the national grid and 14 per cent to off-grid systems.

Under its seven-year plan, which runs up to 2024, the Government targets 100 per cent access to electricity.

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Elias Hakizimana

Elias Hakizimana, CEO&Founder of The Inspirer Ltd,(www.rwandainspirer.com) is a professional Rwandan Journalist with Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, received from University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in 2014. He served various media houses in Rwanda including Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) in 2013 and became passionate with English Online and Print Media Publications where he exercised his talent as a Freelance News Reporter for The New Times, The Independent, The Rwanda Focus, Panorama and more before he became a Self-Entrepreneur as the CEO and Founder of The Inspirer Limited in early 2017.

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