Burundi: 10.2MW Run of River Hydro Project Gets USD 1 Million Funding

  • Plans to build a 10.2MW run-of-river hydro plant in one of the world’s least electrified countries have taken a significant step forward thanks to a USD 1 million development loan from REPP.

Burundi currently has an estimated national electrification rate of just 11% and a total installed power capacity of 80MW. Once built, the “Mpanda” power plant in Bubanza Province will increase the East African country’s installed capacity by over 10%, while supporting its conditional Nationally Determined Contribution (2015) target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2030 and overall vision for sustainable development.

Mpanda is considered a strategic priority project in Burundi, contributing directly to the implementation of the Government’s National Development Plan (2018), as well as supporting the National Strategy and Action Plan on Climate Change (2012), which encourages private investment in renewable energies.

It was initially planned with a 35m dam, but this was subsequently changed to a run-of-river design, which minimises the impact on the physical and ecological conditions of river systems.

Following REPP’s loan, developer Hydroneo East Africa Ltd is looking to achieve financial close by 2022, which will unlock a further USD 25 million in senior debt for the construction of the plant. Commercial operation is expected 12-18 months later.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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