26 February 2013

Burundi: Govt Plans to Build 50 Megawatt Dam

Bujumbura — The European Investment Bank (EIB) is financing 50% of a 50 Megawatts hydroelectric power dam on Jiji and Murembwe rivers.

The project will be executed in partnership with the World Bank and the Burundian Government.

This engagement was reaffirmed during the last visit to Burundi, in mid February 2013, by Ms. Mejia Garcia Cristina of the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Ms. Cristina disclosed that, currently, the EIB is about to complete the feasibility study for the transmission line, a work which is to start on March 2013 and expected to be completed in four months.

She revealed that before the summer season, EIB plans to send specialists for the project evaluation so as to observe the effective start of the construction activities before the end of 2013.

The EIB and the European Union (EU) plan to finance the Burundi banking sector for those who would be interested in the micro-finance sector and the banks could benefit from the credit lines offered by the EIB to finance small and medium size enterprises.

The Government has appealed for potential investors to come and invest in the energy sector as the needs are still high and the demand in electricity is growing faster. However, he noted that currently the exploitable hydropower is 300 Megawatts.

Burundi which had 30 Megawatts in 2005 currently produces 45 Megawatts in addition to the efforts being made at local and regional level in order to produce energy that can meet the demand for electricity continues to grow in response to multiple demands investment and household for a simple lighting.

Among the challenges the Government and the company that supports the management of water and electricity (REGIDESO) face is the mobilization of funds, reduction of non-technical losses in the national network currently estimated at 30% and increase of the access rate to electricity from 2% to 15% by 2015 in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Other challenges in the sector are related to the promotion of renewable energy, increase of energy production tools and enlighten peace villages by solar photovoltaic system, production of energy that can feet with industrial power needs.

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