Rwanda’s state-owned utility holding company Rwanda Energy Group Limited (REG) on Saturday kicked off construction of the 43.5-MW Nyabarongo II hydropower plant on the Nyabarongo River, local daily The New Times reported.
The power plant will be the first phase of the Nyabarongo II Multipurpose Development Project, which is designed to fulfill several goals in addition to electricity generation, such as flood control, ensure water supply and irrigation. The whole project will include construction of the 40-MW Butamwa pump storage power plant, 40-MW Juru pump storage power plant in Bugesera and the 10.5-MW Lake Sake Outlet Hydropower plant in Ngoma District.
To fund the Nyabarongo II power station and associated transmission infrastructure, the government of Rwanda in 2020 secured a USD-214-million (EUR 200.8m) concessional loan from China Exim Bank. Chinese construction company Sinohydro is the implementing contractor on the project.
The new power plant will be located some 27 kilometres (16.8 miles) from Rwanda’s capital Kigali. Construction is expected to last 56 months.
The government of Rwanda has set the target to achieve universal electrification by 2024, increase the total generation capacity and replace diesel run generators.