On the 24th October 2018, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Infrastructure together with the African Development Fund delegation led by the Vice President of the African Development Bank in charge of Energy, Mr. Amadou Hott, inaugurated the completion of Rulindo and Gifurwe substations. These two substations were upgraded and rehabilitated thanks to the support from the African Development Fund.
Despite the efforts being made to increase access and generation capacity of the country, the losses due to old power facilities have been hindering further progress. This explains the need to improve power substations and upgrade the transmission and distribution network all over the country. In 2015, the Government of Rwanda, through the Scaling Up Energy Access Project (SEAP), received a 7,212,495 USD loan from the African Development Bank to strengthen the transmission and distribution network in the Northern Province by upgrading Rulindo substation and rehabilitating Gifurwe substation.
The transformer of Gifurwe substation had been destroyed in 1994. All outgoing feeders (i.e.Gakenke, Kirambo and Ntaruka) were connected to one switch - disconnectors to supply power. Faults on any of the feeders were affecting and causing outages to a big number of customers. Therefore, the rehabilitation of this substation was necessary to avoid power outages as well as ease the fault finding and maintenance of the network. After rehabilitation, a 10 MVA transformer was installed. Three feeders were connected from this substation namely Gakenke, Kirambo and Ntaruka.
The need to upgrade Rulindo substation was due to the overload of the previously existing small substation and it had to be transformed into a switching substation to be linked with Gabiro substation. After upgrading this substation, two stronger transformers (10MVA ll0/30kV) were installed and REG managed to separate all feeders that were initially overloaded. These are Byumba, Base, Musasa and Gasiza.
The Permanent Secretary at MININFRA, Eng. Patricie Uwase appreciated the support provided by the African Development Bank to the develop the energy sector and different other sectors in Rwanda.
“Over the years, AfDB has made vital contributions to Rwanda in different sectors including energy, water and sanitation. We appreciate the support from AfDB and we are happy to be working with you to improve the lives of Rwandans. Since 2013, a total of 342 km of MV lines and 587 km of LV lines have been constructed across the country, meaning 18,500 households have been connected.” she added.
The Chief Executive Officer of REG, Eng. Ron Weiss said that this project has tremendously improved reliability and quality of power supply in the Northern Province. “There is a big improvement in terms of reduced outages for feeders supplied from both Rulindo and Gifurwe. This does not only translate into improved service delivery but also a financial gain to us.” he said.
The Vice President of the African Development Bank in charge of Energy, Mr. Amadou Hott, appreciated the Rwandan endeavor to achieve universal access.
“This is a proof that when governments are committed to delivering on their mandates to the citizens, truly remarkable things are possible” he added.
In connection with the economic development targets, the Government of Rwanda through Rwanda Energy Group has embarked on a country-wide development of electricity infrastructure to provide access to electricity and realizing its primary target of a 100% access by the year 2024 from the current rate of 46.46% with an installed generation capacity of 218 MW.
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