Hydropower project in Ruzizi River gets €8 million technical assistance from AfDB
13 January 2020
The African Development Bank's board of directors have recently approved 8 million euros drawn from the European Union's Africa Investment Platform (EU-AIP) to support the preparation of the Ruzizi IV Hydropower Project. According to the project, the plant will be situated on the Ruzizi River between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda and will supply electricity to the DRC, Burundi and Rwanda.
The Ruzizi IV Hydropower Project is project to generate 287 megawatt of electricity and exploit the Ruzizi River's full hydropower potential. Two power plants are already in operation: Ruzizi I produces 29.8 MW and Ruzizi II, 43.8 MW; a third, Ruzizi III, with a projected 147 MW output is under development with Bank support.
"The African Development Bank played a major role in structuring and raising financing for Ruzizi III, and the lessons learned will be used to successfully develop and implement Ruzizi IV. The use of renewable and affordable electric power will help to reduce poverty, unemployment, greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation, as well as stabilise security in the Great Lakes region," the Bank's Director for Power Systems Development, Batchi Baldeh.
The project will provide electricity to millions of households including small and medium-sized enterprises and industries. These will improve the living conditions of the regional population. Greater and more reliable access to electricity will also improve the quality of basic social service delivery including health, education, and improved security.
Ruzizi Hydropower Plant Project IV meets the goal shared by Burundi, DRC and Rwanda to optimise exploitation of their energy resources by integrating electricity generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure. The 8 million euros grant approval follows a $980,000 grant approved end-2018 by the New Partnership for Africa Development's Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF), which is a multi-donor Special Fund hosted by the Bank, to co-finance this technical assistance.