World Bank provides loan for Burundi hydropower plants

The World Bank has approved a US$100 million grant to the Republic of Burundi for the construction of two hydropower plants along the Jiji and Mulembwe rivers.

The combined costs of the 31.5-MW Jiji and 16.5-MW Mulembwe projects is estimated at $270 million, with the remainder of the financing being provided by the country’s government and other partners.

HydroWorld.com reported in March that Berundi’s Regie de Production et de Distribution d’Eau et d’Electricite (REGIDESO) was seeking consultants to perform a geotechnical design review of Jiji’s 13.5-meter-high concrete dam.

REGIDESO also invited expressions of interest from consultants to supervise tendering and construction of both projects this past December.

The World Bank said only about 4% of Burundi’s 10 million people have access to electricity, making it one of the lowest such percentages in the world. Bank statistics forecast the country’s demand increasing from 92 MW in 2018 to more than 190 MW by 2025.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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