Two Chinese firms and an Austrian engineering company are expected one week from now to sign a contract with Rusumo Power Company paving way for construction of the $340 million power generation facility starting early 2017.
The three firms have been selected to build the 80MW Rusumo hydro-power station that is being jointly developed by Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi where each of the three countries will receive 26.6MW of power.
Meanwhile, Rwanda Energy Group (REG) say, China Geo-Engineering Corporation, Jianxi Water and Hydro Construction Ltd and Austria’s Andritz Hydro will carry out civil, electronic and mechanical works on the power plant which is expected to be commissioned in 2019.
This project is perceived to be a key part of Rwanda’s plan to increase generation capacity. The Power to be generated will help boost the country’s electricity supply and lower the overall cost of electricity.
With recent success on the Lake Kivu methane gas project which global scientists had discouraged, the country feels it can as well turn its peat into a major source of electricity.
By 2018, Rwanda wants to achieve 70% of the electricity access rate from the current 24% and aims at having an installed capacity of 563 Megawatt from the current installed capacity of 186 Megawatt.
President Paul Kagame, while attending 51st African Development Bank Meeting in Zambia this year, said he feels ‘Ashamed’ the continent still struggles to get electricity.
“Lighting and powering Africa really means industries. We won’t be able to achieve that by just off-grid solutions. The approach for us is making sure we indeed have the right mix,” he said.
Currently, Africa consumes only 12% of the world’s hydro-power potential, despite its rich resources to produce the required power.
The World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB) are the key donors to the construction of the transmission lines and substations was obtained from the African Development Bank and extended to the three countries.