Rusumo Falls HEP project which was unveiled last week is inclusive of the construction of transmission lines at a cost of $121 million to link the national grids of Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda, each with a share of 26.6MW from the 80MW that the hydropower plant will generate.
Rusumo Falls HEP project project and transmission lines, whose completion is scheduled for 2020, is among solutions to power shortages facing the three countries, playing significant role in boosting electricity trade not only in the region but also Africa as a whole through interconnection routes from North and South Africa power pools.
Present at the unveiling ceremony of the Rusumo Falls HEP project, Tanzanian energy and minerals minister, Sospeter Muhongo revealed that access to electricity in Tanzania has more than doubled, from less than 30% to 67.3% during the past decade. He further added that access to power in rural areas also improved from just 2% in 2007 to 47.5% at present.
In the interim, the World Bank country director for Tanzania, Burundi, Malawi and Somalia, Bella Bird, said that the project will boost installed electricity capacity of the respective countries at cheaper costs. The electricity to be generated from Rusumo will be charged at 6 US cents. According to Bird, this will aid in reducing the costs which have been incurred from other sources like fossil fuels. She also stated that the share of energy generated is set to improve Burundi’s installed capacity by almost 50% as per reports.
Bird expressed delight that the regional project will provide a greener source of energy for the three countries and broaden social and economic uplift to the people.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Rwanda’s minister for infrastructure James Musoni, instructed the contractors undertaking the project to adhere to quality and timely completion of the scheme.
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