The government has received U$ 24.7 million financing from the African Development Bank-AfDB as support towards the country’s contribution to the Rusizi II regional hydro power project.
The project expected to cost U$ 625 million is shared by Rwanda Burundi and Democratic republic of Congo-DRC that will generate 150 MW to national grids of the three countries.
“This project will help to meet the needs of the population and of the economy in general in accordance with national development strategies of the countries concerned,” said Amb. Claver Gatete, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.
While signing the agreement on Wednesday, the Minister noted that the hydro power project is expected to increase Rwanda‘s clean energy generation n capacity to about 50 MW.
He says, “It underscores the importance of ensuring reliable and affordable electric power supply to achieve sustainable economic transformation.”
Despite increase to accessible infrastructure in the area, the region project is also looked at to create jobs as well as reducing on the greenhouse emissions, one of the efforts government is taking to address climate change.
According to the agreement, the project which is the first regional public –private partnership will be awarded to the developer who will be given a concession as a majority partner in the project company with the three countries.
The agreement also states that the project will involve the construction of run-off river dam on the river between DRC and Rwanda downstream from Rusizi II hydro power dam, a 147 MW power plant and a distribution station.
Experts say that the project will help the country reduce its reliance on fossil fuels , boost its electricity supply while also reducing on the cost of electricity which have been affecting social economic transformation.
“Sustainable regional infrastructure is a necessary element for strong regional integration and key to successfully tackling today’s most challenging climate change related problems and security,” said Negatu Makonnen, African Development Bank country representative.
Makonnen says that the project is central to the bank’s (expected to contribute U$190 million to the project) strategic vision of developing the African energy through promotion of universal access to lower carbon and inclusive energy.