During the 6th Nile Basin Development Forum, Alloyce Oduor, the Power Engineer at the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program (NELSAP) disclosed that one unit of the 80MW Regional Rusumo Hydroelectric Power Project could be operational by the end of 2021.
NELSAP is one of the investment programs under the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) mandated to facilitate transformative regional transboundary cooperative projects or/and in-country projects with regional impact related to the common use of the Nile Basin water resources.
It focuses on hydropower investment projects and regional power transmission interconnections as well as water resources management and development projects.
The project is a joint development by the Governments of Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania through a commonly owned, Rusumo Power Company (RPCL).
The predicted annual generation is approximately 500GWhr with a load factor of 63%.
The generated electricity will be equally shared among the three countries each benefiting from approximately 26MW directly connected to the national grid through 220kV transmission lines from Rusumo Falls to; 1. Gitega in Burundi (161km), 2. Nyakanazi in Tanzania (98km) and 3. Shango and Bugesera in Rwanda (119km).
The objective of the project
The project’s overall objective is to increase the supply of electricity to the national grids of Rwanda, Tanzania, and Burundi.
By so doing, the project will have addressed the acute shortage of electricity experienced by the three Kagera sub-region countries of Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania which is negatively affecting their economies and the livelihoods of their citizens.
The project will also enhance regional cooperation, peacebuilding, support the sustainable management of the Kagera river basin, and promote growth and poverty reduction whilst managing environmental aspects.