The African Development Bank (AfDB) is to fund a 147 MW hydropower plant to be located on the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
The Ruzizi III project will be designed to supply both countries as well as Burundi.
In addition to a run-of-river dam to be built on the Ruzizi river, which constitutes a natural border between the DRC and Rwanda, an 8.3 km transmission line is planned.
Power from the plant will be sold to the Régie de Production et Distribution d’Eau et d’Electricité of Burundi (REGIDESO), the Société Nationale d’Electricité of the DRC (SNEL), and Energy and Water Sanitation Authority of Rwanda (EWSA) under long-term power purchase agreements.
The AfDB will provide $138m in loans and grants to help fund the $625m project, which is expected to double Burundi’s generation capacity and increase Rwanda’s by half. In addition, the AfDB said the plant will boost power supply to the DRC’s eastern region, which is not currently connected to the national grid.
The plant “will be the first regional project designed as a public-private partnership,” the AfDB said, with a “private partner, acting in the capacity of investor/developer”, to be contracted.
“This partner will be required to develop the project, be a majority partner in the project company with the three countries concerned and secure the necessary commercial debt,” the bank added.
Image: Ruzizi river by Amakuru on Wikipedia