15 November 2007 – A grant of 2.8 million Euro has been given to the Rwandan government by the European Union. The grant will be used to carry out feasibility studies on a hydro power plan on the Rusizi river falls. The site has a capacity of 82MW and, if developed, could export power to other countries within the Great Lakes region.
This area is currently plagued by power shortages, in part due to high demand from domestic and industrial consumers, and in part due to prolonged drought in the area.
The study will be carried out by Germany Engineering Bureau Fichtner, a Germany company. They will also determine technical and economic pre-feasibility on a second site at Sisi, with an estimated potential of 205MW.
"The pre-feasibility of a possible Rusizi 1V at the SISI site will analyse relevant factors for a second additional station which has the highest potential in the region," said Eng Albert Butare, minister for energy and communication.
"This essential technical study has important economic and political dimensions. A plentiful supply of power at a reasonable price is a pre-requisite for economic development," said Dr David MacRae who heads up the European Commission to Rwanda.
"If the results of the preliminary study are positive this will be followed by more detailed technical and economic studies later." he concluded.