Rwanda seeks to increase hydroelectric generation from 160 MW to 563 MW by 2018


On Nov. 3, Dan Munkittrick, chairperson of East African Power, a local Rwandan energy firm, announced a US$40 million hydroelectric project joint venture between East African Power and its Canadian counterpart, Afritech Energy, according to published reports. East African Power made an initial $500,000 commitment to the project.

Afritech Energy is a Canadian-Rwandan joint energy development venture established to provide engineering, procurement and construction services across the energy sector, according to Afritech.

The venture will see four hydropower plants constructed:

• 5.3-MW Bihongora in Bihongora on the Bihongora River in Kanama Sector;
• 700-kW Karambo II in Rubavu District on the Karambo River
• 1.3-MW Gatare-Sebeya in Kanombe Sector, Rutsiro District, in the Western Province; and
• 4.2-MW Muregeya Cascades on the Muregeya River in Mushubati and Mukura Sectors in Rutsiro District. (The Muregeya Cascades hydroelectric project will include four separate hydropower plants along the Muregeya River in Mushubati and Mukura Sectors in Rutsiro District.)

Published reports indicate Afritech Energy Chief Executive Officer, Bonaventure Gapitene, said, the investment comes as a result of the Rwandan government's initiative to extend incentives in the energy sector and other sectors that are critical to making the country a private sector-led economy by 2020.

Construction of Bihongora and Karambo II is scheduled to begin by mid-2016, according to officials, while Gatare-Sebeya and the first of the Muregeya Cascades projects will begin in late 2016. The first four projects are expected to be online by 2018.

“Negotiations are ongoing and construction works should take at least 18 months,” Gapitene said.

“We are partnering with the government to achieve the set targets in the energy sector. The partnership involves two passionate companies that wish to be part of this country’s development, given that the government has also made it easy for the investor to do business here.”

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