AfDB announces financing for 147-MW Ruzizi 3 hydropower plant

The African Development Bank has announced a US$24 million to support development of the 147-MW Ruzizi 3 hydropower plant.

Located in Rwanda on the Ruzizi River, the project is a joint initiative between Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. The plant will be the third in a cascade that also includes the 29.8-MW Ruzizi 1 and 43.8-MW Ruzizi 2.

The trio of facilities will not only bolster each of the countries’ own power supplies, but also provide exportable energy to the surrounding region.

“Sustainable regional infrastructure is necessary for strong regional integration and key to successfully tackling today’s most challenging climate change-related challenges,” AfDB representative Negatu Makonnen said. “The multinational Ruzizi 3 hydropower plant project is central to AfDB’s strategic vision for the development of the African energy sector through the promotion of universal access to low-carbon and inclusive modern energy.”

Estimates project Ruzizi 3’s total cost at exceeding $625 million, with more than $50 million being added to AfDB’s funding from the private sector. The bank said it was prepared to provide at least $138 million for the project in January.

HydroWorld.com reported in July 2011 that the European Investment Bank had committed to help coordinate the public/private partnerships required to develop the plants, citing the Ruzizi cascade’s potential impact on more than 100 million people living in Africa’s Great Lakes region.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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