AfDB approves loan for Rwanda’s first regional hydropower public-private partnership project

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AfDB approves loan for Rwanda’s first regional hydropower public-private partnership project

The African Development Bank Group has recently announced a US$24 million loan to support Rwanda’s contribution to the development of the 147 MW Multinational Ruzizi III Hydropower project. The project is a joint initiative of the three Great Lakes region countries; Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

The 147 MW Multinational Ruzizi III Hydropower Project entails the construction of a run-of-river dam on the Ruzizi River between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda downstream of Lake Kivu and the Ruzizi II Hydropower Dam.

The project package includes an 8.3 kilometer 220kV transmission line to the Kamanyola power dispatch center and associated power evacuating lines which are funded separately. The output will be equally shared among the three participating countries and increase Rwanda’s clean energy generation capacity by about 50 MW. 

This is the first regional energy project designed as a public-private partnership and is aimed at optimizing the hydropower potential of the Ruzizi cascade while taking advantage of private sector management efficiencies and skills. For its implementation, a private sector partner, acting in the capacity of investor/developer and major shareholder has been recruited and will be awarded a 25-year concession to operate the project on behalf of the partnership.

The Bank’s overall contribution to the Multinational Ruzizi III HPP is US$190 million for Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. Additional financing is expected from other development partners and the three governments to cover the overall US$625 million estimated project cost.  

Negatu Makonnen, AfDB Resident Representative, said:

“Sustainable regional infrastructure is necessary for strong regional integration and key to successfully tackling today’s most challenging climate change-related challenges. The Multinational Ruzizi III Hydropower Plant Project is central to AfDB’s strategic vision for the development of the African energy sector through the promotion of universal access to low-carbon and inclusive modern energy.”

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