Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda have signed an agreement for the construction of the Ruzizi 3 hydroelectric power station aimed at boosting the electricity production for these three countries.
The agreement was signed by the Acting Minister of Energy and Water Resources of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pierre Kangudia, the Minister of Infrastructure of Rwanda, Ambassador Claver Gatete, and the Minister of Hydraulics, Energy and Mines of Burundi, Como Manirakiza.
Ruzizi 3 Power project
The power project will be first privately funded project in sub-Saharan Africa that will use a common regional resource to generate energy that will be shared equally between three countries.
The Ruzizi 3 hydropower plant will be located in Bukavu in South Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Ruzizi is the river through which Lake Kivu flows into Lake Tanganyika.
Construction of the projects dates back to 1992. However due to various upheavals that the three countries went through, the project was never realized. According to Pierre Kangudia the Ruzizi 3 could produce up to 200 MW when additional studies are finalized. Its initial capacity is estimated at 144 MW.
Construction and operation of Ruzizi 3 will be carried out by the Consortium Industrial Promotion Services (IPS) and SN Power. These companies also signed public-private partnership agreements with the three countries. Upon completion, the power project, electricity generated from it will cost between US $11 and US $13 per kWh.
The cost of the project is estimated at US $400m, 50% of which will come from European donors, including AFD, the European Investment Bank (EIB), KFW and the European Union. Nearly 20% of these funds have already been mobilized since 2015 by the African Development Bank (AfDB).