This project concerns the construction of the Rusumo Falls hydropower plant on the Tanzanian-Rwandan border as well as the construction of the associated transmission lines connecting the power plant to the national grids of Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania. More specifically, the project consists of the construction of: (i) an 80 MW capacity hydropower plant (civil, hydro-mechanical and electro-mechanical works, a switchyard) to be shared between the three countries; and (ii) 378 km of 220 kV transmission lines and associated substations (98.2 km in Tanzania, 161 km in 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 progress on implementation so far are:-
The EPC contracts for the dam and power plant construction were signed in 9 November 2016 and the contractors have mobilized to the project site. The planned commissioning date for the first turbine/generator is in October 2019.
The transmission line construction are expected to be ready by April 2019, which is at least six month ahead of the power plant.
The EU-AITF SE4ALL investment grant will fill a financing gap of EUR 12.75 million 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 implementing agencies and the project engineering and supervision consultant are preparing the design and biding document for the construction of the transmission lines and associated substations. The transmission lines and associated substations are expected to be completed by April 2019.