Report: Develop six Nile Lakes sites of 825 MW, advance six of 397 MW

A strategic assessment of the Nile Equatorial Lakes Region recommends the immediate development of six hydroelectric projects totaling 825 MW and the completion of studies for construction or rehabilitation of another six projects totaling up to 397 MW.

The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) and the World Bank released the assessment, Strategic/Sectoral Social and Environmental Assessment of Power Development Options in the Nile Equatorial Lakes Region, April 17. It was commissioned to provide guidance to decision-making in the power sector at regional and national levels in East Africa.

The study area covered Burundi, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. The report says between 2 and 9 percent of the population currently has access to electricity and that demand will increase by 2,700 MW and 16,000 GWh over the period to 2020.

It narrows down development options from an initial 9,100 MW of potential hydropower and 2,395 MW of thermal and geothermal capacity. Criteria included load growth, resources, cumulative impact of power development, climate change, and investment required.

It found the medium load growth scenario would require investment of nearly US$6 billion from 2005-2020. The high growth scenario would require investment of US$8.25 billion.

Uganda’s 250-MW Bujagali tops development list

For NBI’s Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program (NELSAP), the report recommends a NELSAP Indicative Power Development Strategy, including design and construction of six hydro projects as quickly as possible:
o 250-MW Bujagali on Uganda’s Victoria Nile River (HNN 3/12/07);
o 20-MW Kabu 16 on Burundi’s Kaburantwa River (HNN 4/18/07);
o 53-MW Kakono on Tanzania’s Kagera River;
o 358-MW Ruhudji on Tanzania’s Ruhudji River (HNN 8/31/06);
o 62-MW Rusumo Falls on the Kagera River in Rwanda, Tanzania, and Burundi (HNN 4/18/07); and
o 82-MW Ruzizi 3 on the Ruzizi River in Rwanda and DRC (HNN 3/5/07).

It also recommends construction of two Kenya geothermal plants of 70 MW each, and 60 MW of methane-fueled generation in Rwanda and the DRC.

The report also recommends studies of six hydropower development options in the DRC that only have been identified to the reconnaissance level. They include:
o 43-MW Kiymbi rehabilitation;
o 13-MW Budana rehabilitation;
o 38-MW Piana Mwanga rehabilitation;
o 48-MW Bangamisa;
o 50-MW Babeda 1; and
o 174- to 205-MW Sisi 3-5.

The report also recommended further studies of the Malagarasi Cascade, including the 11-MW Igamba Falls project in Tanzania and Rwanda.

The report was developed by SNC Lavalin International of Canada, in association with Hydro-Quebec International, Vincent Roquet et Associes Inc., Stratus Consulting Inc., Michael A. Stevens Consultant, WL Delft Hydraulics, Experco International (Burundi, Eastern DRC, and Rwanda), GIBB Africa Ltd. (Tanzania and Kenya), and Sustainable Resources Network (Uganda).

The report may be obtained from the World Bank’s Internet site at

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