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Rwanda: Gishoma peat power plant is grid ready

Officials from the Energy Development Corporation Limited (EDCL) and power plant developers, RUNH Power Corporation Ltd, have confirmed that construction is now complete, The New Times reported.

“The testing and commissioning were done and we have been asked to fix a few issues, we are working on it and ultimate time will be end of February or beginning of March,” Frank Zhang, the company’s marketing manager stated.

The construction of the $39.2 million peat-fired power plant, located in Rusizi District, started in 2010.

Zhang said activities at the power plant are at 99% and will be fully handed over to government once it reaches 100%.

Gishoma peat power plant

Theoneste Higaniro, head of generation projects implementation at EDCL, explained to The New Times that for such a project to be handed over; it has to be tested for at least 28 days and the contractor receives a provisional acceptance certificate before receiving an operational certificate.

“The Gishoma peat power plant construction is complete and both testing and commissioning have been successful, the power was connected to the grid but the trial was for 21 days due to a few technical glitches while it had to be 28, so we asked them to fix them,” Higaniro said.

Improved feasibility studies

About a year ago, the minister of infrastructure James Musoni, expressed confidence on the success of this project.

He did however underline that a lack of expertise had delayed the developments of the project.

“Gishoma peat project failed to deliver on time due to lack of better studies,” he said in February last year.

Peat looks promising

In February 2016, the minister signed a power purchase and concession agreement with Ahmet Karasoy, the Chairman of HAKAN that allows the firm to design, build, finance, own and operate the peat power plant in the country.

Rwanda’s New Times reported at the time that the $400 million peat power plant project will produce electricity from peat extracted from south Akanyaru peat prospects in Gisagara District.

Musoni noted then: “We have an energy deficit…our target is to get over two times the capacity we have today. The 80MW are a significant contribution to our energy sector from appreciated efforts by HAKAN.

“Such private initiatives and investments in the construction, development and maintenance of sustainable electricity generating plants provide great economic value.”

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.