The government of Rwanda is working at expanding the country’s renewable (hydro) electricity supply capacity to address the power deficit and allow expansion of energy access rate as part of Electricity Access Rollout Program.
The move is aimed increasing electricity coverage in industries, small and medium sized enterprises, households and businesses.
Last year, November the government announced plans to increase electricity by 100 megawatts— from 110.8 MW to 210.8 MW, among activities to be fast-tracked in the fiscal year 2013 to 2014.
Following this initiative, on February 7, 2014 Rwanda signed the financial agreement of $40 Million with the African Development Bank (AfDB) that will fund the construction of 119 Km of transmission line linking to Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Power Plant.
Rusumo Power Plant is a regional Project shared by Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. The Power plant is expected to generate 80 MW that will be equitably shared among the Three Countries- Each country will have a share of 26.6 MW.
The funding will support Rwanda’s electricity access program from the current 17% of households to 70% by 2018.
World Bank will finance the power plant with an amount of $ 340 million while AFDB will finance Transmission lines in the three countries.
AFDB also finances the Electricity Access Rollout Program with total financing of $ 43 Million.
AfDB country representative Negatu Makonnen said that the Bank’s support will directly contribute to Rwanda’s objective of sustained rapid economic growth and facilitate the process of economic transformation.
It will also provide the opportunity to replace high cost thermal plants from the power systems, thereby lowering the cost of power generation,” Mr. Makonnen said.
The bank is currently financing 23 projects with to a tune of over $ 500 with infrastructure projects taking the lion’s share of over 60% of the entire financing.
Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Claver Gatete commended the move saying that Rwanda expansion of electricity access rate will contribute to Rwanda’s sustained Economic development.
He observed that electricity access creates employment opportunities, increase off farm jobs, contribute to industrial development and reduce production costs through decreased electricity tariffs.