The Project aims to finance the construction of the Rusumo Falls hydropower plant on the Tanzanian and Rwandan border and the construction of the associated transmission lines connecting the power plant to the national grids of Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania. More precisely, the scope of the project consists of the construction of: (i) a 80 MW capacity hydropower plant (civil, hydro mechanical and electromechanical works and a switchyard) to be shared between the three countries; and (ii) 387 km of 220 kV transmission lines and associated substations (98.2 km in Tanzania, 161 km for Burundi and 119 km in Rwanda).
The Regional Rusumo Falls Hydropower Project will play a key role in enhancing economic and social development in the region and in increasing regional power generation, while establishing and accelerating the volume of cross-border energy exchanges. The project is part of the Priority Action Plan (the project and programme list for short and medium-term implementation) under the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).
The EPC contracts for the dam and hydropower plant construction were signed on 9 November 2016 and the contractors have started construction works. The ground break ceremony took place at the project site on 30 March 2017. The planned commissioning date for the first turbine/generator is in 2020.
For the transmission lines component, a project engineering and supervision consultant has been procured and the design and bidding documents have been prepared, all the three countries launched the bidding documents for the transmission lines component. Rwanda has signed the two EPC contracts and contractor for the transmission line mobilized to site. Whereas, Tanzania finalized the bids evaluation and contract negotiations but awaiting clearance from authorities and Burundi is evaluating the bids proposals. The transmission lines construction are expected to be completed by September 2020.
The EU-AITF SE4ALL investment grant will fill a financing gap of EUR 12.75m for Burundi. Its aim is to finance, jointly with the African Development Fund, the construction of 161 km of 220 kV transmission line in Burundi from the Rusumo plant to Gitega (via Muyinga), a new 220 kV substation at Muyinga and the upgrading of Gitega substation to 220 kV level.
The project is in the investment phase. The loan agreements were signed on 7 February 2014 with the Government of Rwanda and on 11 January 2014 with the Government of Tanzania. The EU-AITF investment grant agreement was signed on 18 February 2014 with the recipient (Government of Burundi).
Part of the works financed by the Investment Grant started in 2016. The project engineering and supervision consultant has prepared the design and bidding documents for the construction of the transmission lines and associated substations.
As of the reporting date several activities were completed, such as: (i) the procurement of project engineering and supervision consultant, payments to the supervision consultant and site mobilization by the consultant, (ii) the consultant finalized the preparation of designs and bidding documents for all the three countries, (iii) Rwanda finalized the bid evaluation report, approval, clearance process, contract negotiations, and signed two EPC contracts, (iv) Tanzania launched the bidding documents, finalized bids evaluation and contract negotiation but approval and clearance are ongoing; and (v) Burundi has launched the bidding documents and received proposals from bidders.
The transmission lines will be completed before the completion and commissioning date of the hydropower plant, which currently is set in 2020.