Friday, 29 November 2013

African Development Bank funds EA hydro project

The African Development Bank Group’s (AfDB) on Thursday  approved US$ 113 million for the 80MW Regional Rusumo Falls Hydropower Project. The  African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund  will cough US$97.3 million   while the the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) window  approved a grant of US$16 million. The project will benefit Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
“Africa has incredible untapped hydropower potential: only four per cent of which has been exploited,” explained Alex Rugamba, Director of the AfDB’s Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department.
“Through projects such as the Rusumo Falls project we are looking to leverage Africa’s natural assets for universal access to modern, reliable and affordable energy services on the continent,” Rugamba added.
The development agency said in an official statement that the construction of the transmission facilities of the power generation plant is expected to be completed by August 2018 with the three beneficiary countries sharing the power equally and Burundi receiving 50 percent of it’s current peak power demand.
“The project will enhance the process of regional integration by the countries developing and managing the joint assets,” AfDB said.
The Rusumo Falls is on Kagera River in Rwanda. The  project is a Programme for Infrastructure Development for Africa (PIDA) priority project. In 2012, African Heads of State endorsed a set of priority energy projects to be implemented by 2020 as part of the PIDA.
Rusumo Falls is one of nine hydropower projects identified for the PIDA energy infrastructure program, which focuses on major hydroelectric projects and interconnects the power pools between countries.

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