Rwanda: Upgrade on Mount Kigali Substation to Reduce Power Losses

(file photo).
18 October 2018

Households which get electricity from Mount Kigali substation are set to start enjoying quality and stable electricity supply following an upgrade on the facility.

The substation was upgraded with two transformers of 20MVA each, replacing the old 10 MVA transformers, which could not cope with the demand during peak hours, sometimes leading to power outages.

The upgrade is part of the Grid Reduction Project, which targets to reduce annual power losses from 19.6 per cent, officials said. Government looks to reduce power loses by 1 per cent every year.

Funded by the European Union at a tune of €23 million grant, the project started in 2013.

Speaking during the inauguration of the substation in Kigali, the Minister for Infrastructure, Claver Gatete, said; "We are now seeing improvement in the reliability of the power supplied in the city of Kigali."

The substation supplies electricity in Nyamirambo in Kigali and in neighbouring districts of Bugesera, Kamonyi and big parts of Muhanga District.

He said that the energy sector continues to grow in electricity generation, transmission and distribution to ensure that the targeted universal access by 2024 is attained.

Rwanda targets universal electricity access by 2024, from the 46.4 per cent currently, according to the official data.

Gatete said to achieve this requires strong partnerships with different stakeholders.

The sector is also challenged by old infrastructure and overstretched network resulting into losses, hence disrupting the reliability of the power supply in the country, the minister said.

A long term partnership

According to Stefano Manservisi, the Director General of the European Commission for International Cooperation and Development, power supply is one of the crucial sectors they are focusing on their support to the Government of Rwanda's development journey.

"Electricity is crucial and it is, therefore, the reason why we are investing a lot together with our member states and we are looking into how we can do better. I am very pleased to see this realisation because it allows more regular supply of quality (electricity) particularly in this area because it is an area with high economic activity," he said

He said that the European Union will continue supporting Rwanda through grants as well as encouraging European investors to invest in Rwanda's energy sector.

"The next step would be to consolidate, to help in regulatory framework, and fostering private investment," he added

Ron Weiss, the Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Energy Group (REG), said there is a big improvement in terms of power loss reduction.

The substation will be fully operational before the end of this week, Gatete said.

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