The New Times (Kigali)

30 January 2013

Rwanda: Opec, Rwanda Sign Rfw8 Billion Power Project Loan Deal

RWANDA HAS acquired a $12m (about Rwf7.9b) loan from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) Fund for International Development (OFID) to finance the country's electricity expansion programme.

Suleiman Al-Herbish, the fund director general, and Ronald Nkusi, the director for external finance in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, signed the deal that was finalised on Tuesday at OPEC's headquarters in Vienna.

The money would fund extension works of the Rukarara hydro-power plant transmission lines, Nkusi said in a statement. The power plant, located in Nyamagabe district, Southern Province, currently produces about 9MW at peak capacity.

"The project will include a 30km transmission line from Rukarara to Kilinda and will enable the efficient dispatching of the Rukarara generated electricity, which currently serves only the Southern Province," he said. "It will be completed in one year and will contribute significantly to achieving the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy target for electricity access to the masses." Rwanda targets to connect 50 per cent households to electricity by 2017 from a paltry 16 per cent currently.

In an earlier interview, the Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority director general, Yves Muyange, said his body would embark on connecting 100,000 households to the national grid annually to achieve the country's target.

Established in 1976, OFID operates as a multilateral development finance institution by OPEC member countries, with the objective of to reinforcing financial co-operation between OPEC members and other developing countries.

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