Ruzizi IV Hydropower Project in Rwanda receives US $8.9m grant from AfDB

Ruzizi IV Hydropower Project in Rwanda has received US $8.9m grant from the African Development Bank (AfDB), drawn from the European Union’s Africa Investment Platform (EU-AIP) to support the implementation of the Project.

Currently, two power plants are already in operation: Ruzizi I which produces 29.8MW and Ruzizi II which produces 43.8 MW. Ruzizi III with a projected 147MW output is under development with Bank support. When completed, Ruzizi IV is expected to produce 287MW of electricity and exploit the Ruzizi River’s full hydropower potential.

The power plant will be situated on the Ruzizi River between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and will supply electricity to the DRC, Burundi and Rwanda. The project will provide electricity to millions of households, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises and industries, thereby improving the living conditions of the regional population. Greater and more reliable access to electricity will also improve the quality of basic social service delivery including health, education, and improved security.

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Reliable renewable energy

According to Batchi Baldeh, the AfDB’s Director for Power Systems Development, the Bank played a major role in structuring and raising financing for Ruzizi III, and the lessons learned will be used to successfully develop and implement Ruzizi IV. “The use of renewable and affordable electric power will help to reduce poverty, unemployment, greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation, as well as stabilise security in the Great Lakes region,” he affirmed.

The grant approval follows a US $980,000 grant approved at the end of 2018 by the New Partnership for Africa Development’s Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF), which is a multi-donor Special Fund hosted by the Bank, to co-finance the technical assistance.

Ruzizi IV Hydropower Project meets the goal shared by Burundi, DRC and Rwanda to optimise exploitation of their energy resources by integrating electricity generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure.

The project falls within the overall regional energy market framework being developed by the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme (NELSAP) and the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP). It also aligns with the Bank’s High 5 priority to “Light up and power Africa”, as well as the Bank’s strategy on regional integration, and specifically, development of regional energy infrastructure.

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