The African Development Bank, AfDB, has approved $138 million in loans and grants to finance the Rusizi III hydropower plant project, adding that at least $138.88 million would be borne by the AfDB’s public sector window and $50.22 million by the private sector window.
Rusizi III hydropower plant is part of the programme for infrastructure development in Africa and involves Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
A statement from the AfDB indicates that the implementation of the project would be carried out at a total cost of $625.19 million.
The statement added that the financing would enable the construction of a run-of-river dam straddling the Rusizi River between the DRC and Rwanda, as well as a 147 MW power plant and distribution station.
“These new facilities will provide an independent source of green energy, helping the DRC, Rwanda and Burundi to meet their growing energy needs. All the 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.”
It said by ensuring reliable and affordable power, the Rusizi III hydropower plant project would increase the region’s access to electricity by 300 percent.
It said as a regional project, the electricity generated would also feed into the East African Power Pool.
“Rusizi III hydropower plant project is the first regional power project in East Africa to be built under a public-private partnership. Under this framework, the project’s implementation has been entrusted to the Great Lakes Energy Organisation, a sub-regional body, which co-ordinates energy development in East Africa.
“Its implementation has been possible, following a grant awarded to EGL in 2011 by the New Partnership for Africa Development, NEPAD infrastructure project preparation facility, NEPAD-IPPF to finance transaction advisory services for the project.
“The $1.4 million NEPAD-IPPF grant helped provide key expertise for the project’s development, as well as sound knowledge of the context and actors of the region that led to the project’s eventual financial close.
“The grants are used to carry out pre-feasibility, feasibility, technical and engineering designs as well as transaction advisory services.”