10 December 2012

Rwanda: Electricity Connections to Increase By 70 Percent in 2017

The national electricity supplier, Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) has set a target of 1.4 million electricity connections by 2017.

The anticipated raise represents a 70 per cent increase in electricity connections, currently at 304,800.

This comes as more projects to generate more power are being put in place.

According to the parastatal, more 28 megawatts are expected to be loaded on to the national grid in 2013 which represents an increment of 20 per cent.

Speaking to The New Times, EWSA's Public Relations Officer Angele Umutoni, said that Nyabarongo Hydro Project will be the largest generation power plant in the country.

"If the 28 MW of the Nyabarongo project are added to the grid it will represent 20 per cent of the current installed capacity," she explained

The project is jointly funded by the EXIM Bank of India and the Government of Rwanda. The EXIM Bank contributed US$80m, while government has pooled $17m to the project.

The Mukungwa II Hydro project, which caters for Gikondo, Remera, Musanze and Ntaruka, and currently produces 12MW, will be boosted to increase its capacity, according to the official.

Umutoni said currently plans are underway to revamp the energy sector.

"This will increase generation, improve transmission and distribution, diversify energy sources, reduce costs."

In 2006 EWSA had over 70,000 connections and by July, this year, the connections had increased to over 32, 00,000 connections.

According to Fidele Nshimiyimana, the head of Mukungwa Hydro Power Plant, the plant produces 10MW which is complimented by the Aggreko Company that generates 10 MW from the diesel generators.

Umutoni also said the second quarter of 2012 saw a rise in the construction of power plants which contributed the increased electricity supply.

Rukarara II and Nyabarongo hydropower plants are currently under construction.

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