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Home BUSINESSEU injects 23 mln euros in Rwanda's energy sector
Fri, 20 Mar, 2015 12:00:26 AM
FTimes- Xinhua Report , Mar. 20
Photo AFP-Lehtikuva
The Government of Rwanda and the European Union Thursday signed financing agreement worth 23 million euros to support Rwanda's electricity network systems.
The grant will help improve energy efficiency and reduce energy losses in the Kigali Grid Network, according to Claver Gatete, Rwanda's Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.  
The program, he said, will be implemented over a period of three years consisting of mainly electricity infrastructure supplies as well as a technical assistance.
The project will upgrade existing electricity grid infrastructure resulting in increases in reliability of electricity delivery by reducing power loss.
Energy is one of the fundamental sectors that will catalyse the socio-economic development of Rwanda, the minister said.
"This support will help improve and establish essential infrastructure that contribute to the reduction of technical losses and allow the transmission of electricity to the national grid while improving the security reliability and quality of supply to the City of Kigali," said Gatete.
The project is in line with the Rwanda national development strategy, the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2), which aims to ensure a reliable energy supply as prerequisite for development, according to Gatete.
It is also in line with global initiatives such as SE4All (Sustainable Energy for All) to support the Rwanda Government efforts of ensuring efficient power network through grid loss reduction.
Under the project, the Mount Kigali, Birembo and Jabana substations would be upgraded as well as construction of the new Gahanga substation.
A 23 km long 110kV power line will also be built to connect the stations and to complete what is known as the Kigali-Ring, officials said.
Implementation of the project will be undertaken by Rwanda Energy Group under the supervision of the Ministry of Infrastructure.
Ambassador Michael Ryan, the Head of the European Union Delegation in Rwanda, said reducing power losses while focusing on generating more will help sustain the country's energy sector and help propel the country's economic development.
Energy is a new focal sector for the European Union, he said, and we believe that this is strong step towards creating a vibrant energy sector in Rwanda.
"An efficient power supply will accelerate the socio-economic development of the country and contribute to the increased welfare of the people," Ryan said.
Germaine Kamayirese, Rwanda's State minister for energy said the funds will cover about 45 percent of Rwanda Energy Group's grid loss program to reduce energy loss from about 20 percent to less than 17 percent.
These funds will help build the capacity of power substations to equate the kind of power we expect to generate and import, Kamayirese explained.
 "We also try to establish new distribution lines while upgrading the existing power transformers to reduce on power linkages and losses."  Rwanda's current electricity generation capacity stands at 155MW and is expected to rise to 563MW by 2017. 
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