Rwanda Begins Construction on 43MW Nyabarongo II Hydro Project

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  • The government of Rwanda has started construction on the 43MW Nyabarongo II hydropower plant public project in a bid to boost the country’s access to electricity by 2024. 
  • Located 27km from country capital Kigali, at the junction between the Southern and the Northern provinces, the groundbreaking for the construction was launched on Saturday, May 21 2022. 
  • The US$214 million project will be the first phase of the 134MW Nyabarongo II Multipurpose Development Project which is designed to control flooding on marshland along Nyabarongo and Akagera rivers. 
  • The Nyabarongo II Multipurpose Development Project includes the 43 MW from Nyabarongo II Hydropower plant, 40MW from Butamwa pump storage power plant, 40MW from Juru pump storage power plant in Bugesera and the 10.5MW of Lake Sake Outlet Hydropower plant in Ngoma District.
  • Felix Gakuba, Managing Director of the Energy Development Corporation Limited (EDCL), says the project will be key in helping the country achieve its energy targets.

“We count on the project because it will boost power supply in the country, helping us reach our target of 2024 full coverage of electricity as we shall have scaled up our generation capacity,” he said.

According to Dancille Nyirarugerero, the Governor of Northern Province, upon completion, the project will raise the standards of living to the people of Rwanda.

“Poverty can rarely cohabitate with access to electricity, once regions are provided with enough power, that allows people to create more developmental projects, eases the cost of doing business and improves the standards of living of the population because of increased access to reliable and affordable power,” she explained.

The large scale water conservation and hydropower development project will be undertaken by Chinese construction company Sinohydro. It is the largest project currently supported by the Chinese government in Rwanda.

Wang Jiaxin, Charge d’Affaires in the Chinese Embassy of Rwanda, recounts some of the issues that the project will eradicate.

“Every year, floods harm infrastructure and the livelihood of the local people and due to some topographic features, some people do not have access to electricity.

“So, from this project, we want to turn the flood-stricken lands to arable lands and increase the incidence of electricity, so that more people will get access to electricity and facilitate livelihoods of the local people,” he said.

Occupying about 600 hectares of land in Rulindo, Gakenke and Kamonyi districts, the project will be tackled in three phases and should be completed in 56 months (2027).

Author: Nomvuyo Tena

Nomvuyo Tena is a Content Producer at Vuka Group and is as passionate about the energy transition in Africa as she is about music and Beyonce. 

This article was originally published on ESI Africa and is republished with permission with minor editorial changes.

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