EU funds studies of East Africa’s 82-MW Ruzizi 3, 205-MW Ruzizi 4

The European Union (EU) has agreed to provide 2.8 million euros (US$4.1 million) for studies of the proposed 82-MW Ruzizi 3 and 205-MW Ruzizi 4 hydroelectric projects on the Ruzizi River between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

In November 13 signing ceremonies for the funding, a contract also was signed with German engineering firm Fichtner to perform the studies, which were solicited by the EU earlier this year. (HNN 4/25/07)

Work is to include a feasibility study, detailed draft project, and invitation to tender dossiers for development of the 82-MW Ruzizi 3 at the RD site on the Ruzizi River. It also includes a pre-feasibility study of development of 205-MW Ruzizi 4 at the Sisi site.

The work also includes study of how to coordinate exploitation of Ruzizi hydropower potential by the existing 28.2-MW Ruzizi 1 and 40-MW Ruzizi 2 projects and by future possible stations. That includes study of how water flowing out of Lake Kivu into the river can be regulated to optimize power production.

�The study will, we hope, lead on to major investments in hydropower increasing power supply and thus make an important contribution to economic development in the region,� said Ambassador David MacRae, head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Rwanda. �This will involve the three beneficiary countries (DRC, Rwanda, and Burundi) working together and thus help bring peace and stability to the Great Lakes region.�

The EU said the Ruzizi 3 project is expected to be in service by 2012. It added that, if the results of the preliminary study of Ruzizi 4 are positive, it would be followed by more detailed technical and economic studies.

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