12 July 2017

Rwanda Projects to Generate More Electricity, 355mw By 2020

Rwanda wants to generate 355MW of electricity in the next three years, that would enable all Rwandans to be supplied with electricity; the country has enough resources to achieve this target. Reports KTPress

The Government had planned to generate 563MW by 2017 but the target is currently at 50%

Appearing before Parliament (both chambers) on Tuesday, Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi said, "We set a high target and the costs are big but this also makes us strive for more."

However, he said that feasibility studies on energy sources indicate that there are enough natural resources which could enable Rwanda meet its target providing electricity to all Rwandans by 2020.

"We are looking at increasing alternative sources like use of gas to make it available in all Rwandan homes at a much cheaper price just as water," Murekezi said.

It costs about Rwf4million to produce 1MW and costs about $1,000 to connect one single line to a settlement while a resident only pays Rwf 56,000 to get connected to a meter.

"Several studies indicate that we need a lot of investment from the private sector. We already have some investors but we need more to achieve our goals," Murekezi said.

In 2010, the country had set a target of increasing generation capacity to 563MW which would connect 70% of households by 2017; and 50 per cent of the projection has already been achieved.

Generation capacity has currently only reached 208.6 MW representing 33% of the intended target.

A feasibility study shows that Rwanda can tap into peat energy deposits and generate 200MW from swamps of Rwabusoro and Akanyaru in the next 30 years.

Meanwhile, construction of Gisagara Peat Power Plant started in April 2017 and is expected to generate 80MW by 2020.

Also 67 small scale hydro power projects have been opened to private players, and so far the private sector has invested in construction of Rukarara V (5MW) and Ntaruka A (2MW).

An investor was also solicited for Rusizi III, a 147MW joint project with DRC, Burundi.

Construction of Rusumo Hydro power plant of 80MW has also started and is expected to be completed by 2020.

With this available electricity, the PM said that 40% of the population can be connected to the main grid, while 20% can be connected to the off grid.

Members of Parliament highly approved the updates on the energy sector and said that the country could achieve its goals if the implementation is timely.

"There has been a lot of undoubtable success and these targets can be achieved if there is consistent monitoring and timely implementation," said JMV Gatabazi.

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