rusumo falls 2. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
rusumo falls 2. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

In East Africa, project owners of the 80MW Rusumo Falls hydropower plant has awarded two contracts for the construction and supply of electro-mechanical components.

Hydro World reported that the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme (NELSAP) invited pre-applications for the work in March 2015 and signed the contracts this week on behalf of Rusumo Power.

Located on the border of Rwanda and Tanzania, with transmission lines interconnecting those countries and Burundi, the $340 million Rusumo Falls hydroelectric plant is expected to reach completion in 2019.

Rusumo: awarded consortiums

According to Hydro World: “The first, awarded to a consortium comprised of the China Geo-Engineering Corp. and Jianxi Water & Hydro Construction Ltd, covers the design and construction of Rusumo Falls’ civil works, including the project’s dam, tunnels, powerhouse and other infrastructure.

“The second contract was awarded to Andritz Hydro and includes the manufacture and supply of the plant’s electrical and mechanical equipment.”

Financial support

The east African power project is a Programme for Infrastructure Development for Africa (PIDA) priority project. In 2012, African heads of state endorsed a set of priority energy projects to be implemented by 2020 as part of the PIDA.

The African Development Bank’s support to the project has spanned several years.

In 2006, the Bank provided an ADF grant of $4 million to the Nile Basin Initiative to finance the technical, financial, economic and social feasibility studies for the transmission lines of the hydroelectric plant.

In 2013, it was reported that the project had gained further momentum with the African Development Bank (AfDB) having allocated $97.3 million from the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund for the project.

An additional $16 million grant from the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) window of the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund was also mobilised by the AfDB at the time to help finance part of the Burundi transmission line from the Rusumo Falls power plant.