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The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has awarded a US$113mn grant for the 80MW Rusumo Falls Hydropower Project coming up on the Kagera River, along the Rwanda-Tanzania border
AfDB has agreed to finance the development of transmission lines for this project. The latest grant will go towards the construction of a section of the Burundi transmission line from the Rusumo Falls power plant.
The Rusumo Falls Hydropower Project is aimed at improving Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi’s access to renewable energy and reliable electricity and the governments of the three countries jointly own the project.
Construction of transmission lines for the Rusumo Falls Hydropower Project has been scheduled for completion in 2018, according to AfDB.
The entire project, which has been estimated to cost around US$300mn, is expected to become operational by 2020.
AfDB director for the energy, environment and climate change department, Alex Rugamba, said, “Africa has incredible untapped hydropower potential, of which, only four per cent has been exploited. The Rusumo Falls project is one of many ventures financed by the bank in response to the crisis in energy access and limited infrastructure developments in the region. This project would enhance regional stability through increased cooperation and integration among countries.”
Through this project, Rwanda and Tanzania will be able to reduce fuel imports and bring down their electricity tariffs, AfDB said.
For Burundi, the project will help address up to 50 per cent of the nation’s power demand and help reduce its CO2 emissions, the bank added.