In December, the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, approved $138 million (ZAR2 billion) in loans and grants to finance the Ruzizi III Hydropower Plant Project, located on the Ruzizi River, which borders the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
The clean power project implementation costs are estimated at $625.19 million (ZAR10 billion), of which the $138 million (ZAR2 billion) will come from the AfDB’s public sector window and $50.22 million (ZAR828 million) by the private sector window, the Bank said in a statement.
The funds will be used towards the construction of a “run-of-river” dam as well as a 147MW power plant and distribution station.
Delivering clean power
The clean power project forms part of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and involves Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda.
With challenges experienced in generating sufficient power, the three respective countries will now receive an independent source of clean power, which help in meeting their existing and increasing demand.
“By ensuring reliable and affordable electric power, the Ruzizi III Hydropower Plant Project will increase the region’s access to electricity by 300% thereby contributing to the sustainable socio-economic transformation of the region. As a regional project, the electricity generated will also feed into the East African Power Pool (EAPP),” the Bank added in a statement.
First of its kind
The power plant is the first regional power project in East Africa to be established as a public-private partnership (PPP) where the project implementation will be done under the management of the Great Lakes Energy Organisation (EGL), a sub-regional body which coordinates energy development in East Africa.
“Its implementation has been possible following a grant awarded to EGL in 2011 by NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) to finance transaction advisory services for the Ruzizi III Hydropower Plant Project.
“This $1.4 million [ZAR17 million] NEPAD-IPPF grant helped provide key expertise for the project’s development, as well as sound knowledge of the context and actors of the region that led to the project’s eventual financial close,” the Bank added in a statement.