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Rwanda: utility inaugurates two substations to boost power supply

This week, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Infrastructure together with the African Development Fund inaugurated the completion of the Rulindo and Gifurwe substations.

The Rwanda Energy Group (REG) stated that these two substations were upgraded and rehabilitated with the support of the African Development Fund.

Despite efforts being made to increase access and generation capacity of the country, the losses due to old power facilities have been hindering further progress.

This necessitated for the improvement of power substations and upgrade the transmission and distribution network all over the country.

The CEO of REG, Ron Weiss said that this project has tremendously improved reliability and quality of power supply in the Northern Province.

“There is a big improvement in terms of reduced outages for feeders supplied from both Rulindo and Gifurwe. This does not only translate into improved service delivery but also a financial gain to us,” Weiss said.

Upgrading substations

In 2015, the government through the Scaling Up Energy Access Project received a $7,212,495 loan from the African Development Bank to strengthen the transmission and distribution network in the Northern Province by upgrading Rulindo substation and rehabilitating Gifurwe substation.

The transformer of Gifurwe substation had been destroyed in 1994. All outgoing feeders (i.e.Gakenke, Kirambo and Ntaruka) were connected to one switch – disconnectors to supply power.

Faults on any of the feeders were affecting and causing outages to a big number of customers. Read more: REG upgrades Mount Kigali Substation to reduce power losses

Therefore, the rehabilitation of this substation was necessary to avoid power outages as well as ease the fault finding and maintenance of the network.

After rehabilitation, a 10MVA transformer was installed. Three feeders were connected from this substation namely Gakenke, Kirambo and Ntaruka.

The need to upgrade Rulindo substation was due to the overload of the previously existing small substation and it had to be transformed into a switching substation to be linked with Gabiro substation.

After upgrading this substation, two stronger transformers (10MVA 110/30kV) were installed and REG managed to separate all feeders that were initially overloaded. These are Byumba, Base, Musasa and Gasiza.

Strengthening the energy sector

The Permanent Secretary, Patricie Uwase, appreciated the support provided by the AfDB to develop the energy sector and different other sectors in Rwanda.

“Over the years, AfDB has made vital contributions to Rwanda in different sectors including energy, water and sanitation. We appreciate the support from AfDB and we are happy to be working with you to improve the lives of Rwandans. Since 2013, a total of 342km of MV lines and 587km of LV lines have been constructed across the country, meaning 18,500 households have been connected.” Uwase highlighted.

The Vice President of the AfDB in charge of Energy, Amadou Hott, appreciated the Rwandan endeavour to achieve universal access.

“This is a proof that when governments are committed to delivering on their mandates to the citizens, truly remarkable things are possible,” Hott said.

Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.