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563 megawatts power generation target achievable -REG boss

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By staff writer

Rwanda projects 563 megawatts power generation in the next two years, connection target includes 48% on grid and 22 % off grid power generation.

Though electricity plays a key role in keeping homes and businesses running smoothly, currently according to the demand of power in the country, only 208MW is available with national electricity access 28% on grid and 3% off-grid, and one can ask if it will be possible for Rwanda to increase electricity supply in the country.

According to Jean-Bosco Mugiraneza, CEO of Rwanda Energy Group (REG), in order to improve power supply, REG has so far  signed contracts with 20 solar power access companies and  among them include Mobisol, Ignite Power among others.

He added that other projects that will help government meet electricity targets include the Rusomo Hydro Power project shared by Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi, expected to generate 80MW, while the Gisagara peat to power project is also expected to generate 80MW.

He added that they will also import power from Kenya 30 MW and 400MW Ethiopia through the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP) arrangement noting that electricity transmission lines are under construction.

“Interconnection lines are under construction to allow power trade/ exchange in the region and these include 220KV line Mirama-Shango of 93.2 kilometres connecting Rwanda with Uganda, 220KV Line Shango-Rubavu-Goma-Karongi of 180km connecting Rwanda with DR Congo, 220KV line Rusumo-Bugesera-Shango connecting Rwanda with Burundi,” Mugiraneza said.

His  remarks comes following  a recent  grant of € 10 million (approximately Rwf 8.7 billion) the country received  from  the  Kingdom of Belgium,   to support electricity access roll-out program (EARP) through REG.

Commenting on the support Belgium envoy to Rwanda, Arnout Pauwels, said will improve access to reliable on-grid electricity, services for households and priority public institutions, stressing that the support will focus on two main areas such as upgrade of existing networks and to build the capacity of Electricity Development Corporation Limited (EDCL).

“Through the support EDCL staff will be able to plan, contract and manage grid interventions whether it is grid extension or grid upgrade. Electricity is good for economic development that is why we   decided to support Rwanda achieves its economic goals,” Pauwels said.

The fund  will be used to upgrade 6.6 Kilo Volts (KV) to 30 KV for a distance of 12 kilometer Mega Volts (MV) network and upgrade of 10 cabins on Rubavu network and will also be used to upgrade a distance of 200Killometer MV network in Eastern Province in Rwamagana and Kirehe districts.

Belgium provides support to Rwanda in different areas including health the current indicative program between two countries, allocates to a total grant of € 49 million to energy sector in Rwanda split over four interventions which includes, improving access to reliable, cost effective electricity services and private sector participation in energy generation.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete, said energy is crucial for the country’s development and social wellbeing Rwandans.  “We want infrastructure reach to all Rwandans, to increase power production it is vital that it distributed and accessed. The overall aim   is to provide sufficient, reliable and affordable energy to our people,” Gatete said.

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