The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Wednesday signed a grant agreement with the government of the Republic of Rwanda to provide up to $27 million for phase 3 of the improvement of substations and power distribution network.
“After the achievement of Phase I and Phase II, this third phase will strengthen the capacity to avoid the risk of a large-scale power outage by enabling a stable supply of power,” read a joint statement from JICA and Ministry of Finance.
The project is expected to improve and expand the Gasogi substation and incidental transmission and distribution facilities located in Kigali, to stabilise the Kigali power supply with higher efficiency. Read more: Rwandan district to conduct studies for public lighting installation
With the economy growing at a rapid annual rate of approximately 8% in recent years, Rwanda is unable to keep up with the demand for power which is growing more than 10% each year.
The power consumption in Kigali accounts for approximately 64% of the total power consumed in Rwanda as a whole, but investment in the power transmission and distribution facilities is inadequate for the level of power consumption.
“If the investment is not boosted to a suitable level, major substations in Kigali could be overloaded. As a result, there are concerns that an unstable supply of power could become a major impediment to economic growth and daily activities of the people,” read the statement.
Improving the power distribution network
Consequently, the transmission loss due to degrading facilities is more than 20%, causing a problem in power supply stability.
Because unstable power supply seriously hinders economic activities and daily activities in the capital city, increasing the substation capacity and improving the distribution network in the city are priorities.
“It will also reduce power outage, and improve the electrification rate in Kigali, with an expected positive impact not only on the economy but also on education, health and well-being of the population,” noted the statement.
The implementing agency is the Energy Development Co Limited, which will target areas in Kigali city, including some 110kV transmission lines between the existing transmission line and a planned new Gasogi substation.