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Nyabarongo II Hydro Power Project gets US$ 214 million financing boost

Kigali February 7, 2020: The Government of Rwanda and the People’s Republic of China today signed a framework agreement that will allow China, through China Exim Bank to extend a concessional loan worth US$ 214 million (approximately Frw 203 billion) that will facilitate the construction of Nyabarongo II Hydropower Project.

Nyabarongo II Hydropower Project will have three components: 43.5 MW Hydro power plant, a Substation and 110KV transmission line covering 19.2 km from the Power Plant to Rulindo sub-station.

Once commissioned after a construction period of 56 months, the project will reduce reliance on non-renewable energy resources for electricity generation and contribute to the stability of the grid.  Further to that, the project is expected to provide jobs (skilled and unskilled) to Rwandans during and after construction of the power plant.  During construction peak period the project is expected to employ more than 700 Rwandans. The Project will also use domestic construction materials including sand, stones, wood, and cement among others. Only electrical and electromechanical equipment are expected to be imported.

“In addition to the current 224 MW generation capacity, combined with the pipeline of power projects, Nyabarongo Hydro II will increase grid generation capacity to an estimated 513.5 MW,” The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana said.

“This project will generate power, create job opportunities, improve irrigation and turn swamp into cultivatable land as large as large as twenty thousand hectares,” His Excellency RAO Hongwei, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Rwanda said.  

The hydro power project is expected to hasten Rwanda’s ambition to be among the first countries in Africa to achieve universal electrification and the first to achieve less than 50 percent reliance on traditional cooking fuels as enshrined in the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1).

The NST1 targets a generation capacity of 564 MW and today we have a total installed capacity of 224.63 MW of which, still more than 15% of it, is generated from diesel run generators which will be replaced.

There are several power plant projects in pipeline which are expected to bring more power on-grid. These include:
• 49 MW from Rusizi Hydro Power III where (147MW) will be shared between Rwanda, DRC and Burundi;  
• 27 MW from Rusumo Hydro where 80 MW will be shared between Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania,
• 80MW from Hakan Peat to Power Project
• 50 MW from SYmbion Methane Gas Project and
• 40 MW expected to be generated from other Micro or Mini-Hydro projects which are at different  development stages.

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