Rwanda-Burundi Electricity Interconnection Project Implementation Begins

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Burundi recently began the implementation of its section of the proposed Rwanda-Burundi electricity interconnection project. This was revealed by Selemani Khamis, the Permanent Secretary of the Burundian Ministry of Hydraulics, Energy, and Mines.

Khamis made the revelation in the presence of Pascal Yembeline, the country manager for the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) group in Burundi. Claude Bochu, ambassador and head of the EU delegation in Burundi was also present. 

Project overview

The Rwanda-Burundi electricity interconnection project comprises the construction of a 220-kV transmission line. The line will cut across Kigoma and Butare in Rwanda, and Ngozi and Gitega in Burundi. As part of the project, corresponding sub-stations will also be constructed and extended.

In Burundi, the project will entail the construction of a 79.2 km 220 kV, single-circuit transmission line at the Rwanda/Burundi border at Ngozi and then from Ngozi to Gitega. In addition, a 220/30 kV sub-station will be built at Ngozi with a connection to the existing 30kV distribution network.

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Moreover, the 110 kV substation at Gitega will be transformed into a 110/30 kV one by the installation of a set of 110 kV bars and 2 additional 110 kV busbar connections at Ngozi. Lastly, the Rwanda-Burundi electricity interconnection project in Burundi will involve the connection of the line to the Bujumbura central control center.

In Rwanda, the project will involve the construction of a 61.5 km 220 kV, single-circuit transmission line from Kigoma to Butare, and from Butare to the Rwanda/Burundi border. It will also involve the extension of the existing 110 kV sub-station at Kigoma.

In addition, a 220/30 kV sub-station will be constructed at Butare and connected to the existing 30kV distribution network. Furthermore, the works include the connection of the line to the Kigali central control center.

Rwanda-Burundi electricity interconnection project cost and funding

The project to connect the electricity grids of Rwanda and Burundi will cost €24.4 million. The EU-AfDB Co-Financing Facility is providing funding to the governments of Rwanda and Burundi amounting to €15.7 million. Also, an additional €8.69 million is provided by the Pan-African Bank.

Noteworthy, the project is a part of the Nile Equatorial Lakes Countries (NELSAP) Regional Transport Programme aimed at linking Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.

The main objective of the project is to help to improve the population’s living conditions and the economic and social development framework through greater availability of electric energy at an affordable cost.

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