Luxembourg — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 15 July 2011 – The European Investment Bank (EIB) has confirmed that it will work closely with the government of Rwanda in achieving the financial preparation required for the country’s Ruzizi hydroelectric project.

This marks the start of a second financial stage of preparations in the Ruzizi hydro project.
Leading development finance institutions which recognise the hydropower scheme’s clear potential contribution to electricity generation in the Great Lakes region will now discuss possible financing of the project, following completion of detailed technical feasibility studies.

The European Investment Bank and European Union have played a leading role in bringing together political and financial support for the project and examining the technical, institutional and financial feasibility of building a 147MW hydropower plant on the Ruzizi River.

This landmark scheme has the potential to transform electricity supply to Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and would represent the first public-private sector energy engagement in the Great Lakes region.

The Ruzizi project has the potential to transform energy availability for an estimated 107 million people living in the Great Lakes region. Energy use is currently dominated by use of charcoal for cooking and electrification can contribute significantly to economic development.

The overall project cost of the Ruzizi hydropower scheme is estimated to be around US$530.4 million), with high-voltage transmission links to supply electricity to three neighbouring countries.