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AfDB approves $138 mln in loans to hydro project

The African Development Bank has approved $138 million in loans to finance the Ruzizi III Hydropower Plant Project.  The financing will enable the construction of a run-of-river dam straddling the Ruzizi River between the DRC and Rwanda, as well as a 147 MW power plant and distribution station, providing the DRC, Rwanda and Burundi with an independent source of green energy and helping them meet their growing energy needs.

Implementation of the project will be carried out at a total cost of US$ 625.19 million, of which $138 million will be borne by the AfDB’s public sector window and $50 million by the private sector window. The project is the first regional power project in East Africa to be established as a public-private partnership, under which framework, the project’s implementation has been entrusted to the Great Lakes Energy Organization (EGL), a sub-regional body which coordinates energy development in East Africa.

Ruzizi III hydropower plant is part of the Programme for Infrastructure Development i­­n Africa (PIDA) and involves Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda. All three countries have been experiencing difficulties in meeting the demand for electricity, due to over a decade without major energy infrastructure investments while their populations and economic activity have continued to grow. By ensuring reliable and affordable electric power, the Ruzizi III Hydropower Plant Project will increase the region’s access to electricity by 300% thereby contributing to the sustainable socio-economic transformation of the region.

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