80MW Rusumo Falls hydropower project to boost regional power interconnection between Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi

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Construction works for the 80MW Rusumo Falls hydropower project along Kagera River is on course and is set to strengthen the regional power interconnections between three East African countries namely Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.

Over 7, 000 households from the three countries will benefit from the project which is located at Rusumo Falls along Rwanda-Tanzania border.

The joint project is fully funded by the World Bank and African Development Bank (AFDB). World Bank has allocated US$ 340m for the construction of the power plant while AFDB’s US$130m will finance the installation of transmission lines that will connect the power plant to the national grids in the three countries.

The costs of the construction project which totals to US$ 470m will be constructed in two phases where the first phase will involve the construction of the power plant and the second will entail installation of high voltage transmission lines. The transmission lines are anticipated to transport both imported and exported power from Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania once the plant is complete.

The Rusumo Power Plant is implemented by the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme Coordination Unit (NELSAP-CU) mandated by the three countries through the Rusumo Power Company Ltd (RPCL).

The NELSAP-CU regional coordinator, Elicad Nyabeeya, stressed that the regional project requires effective coordination and management to deliver the power plant, associated transmission lines and sub-stations on time.

He reiterated that once the project is completed, it will enhance socio-economic growth, reinforce regional cooperation, partnership and peace within the Kagera River Basin countries. Construction of the power plant is expected to take three years, until 2020.

It will be undertaken by a joint venture of Chinese companies, CGCOC Group Limited and Jiangxi Water & Hydropower Construction Company Limited Joint Venture (CGCOC – JWHC JV).

The two Chinese firms will execute the civil works in addition to supply and installation of hydro-mechanical equipment while a consortium Rusumo Falls Andritz Hydro GmbH of Germany and Andritz Hydro PVT Limited of India will supply and install electro-mechanical equipment for the power plant.