KIGALI - The State Minister for Energy, Dr Albert Butare, said Rwanda’s micro-hydro power projects were on course, with some major ones set to be completed by December.
This comes in the wake of recent media reports that in general, African countries are facing hardships in implementing these projects due to challenges that include bureaucracy and lack of funds.
“It (Micro-Hydro Power Development) is on board, we are moving on well and right now we have more than twenty projects underway.
I don’t agree with that – at least for Rwanda,” Butare told The New Times in an exclusive interview at his Kacyiru office on Friday.
“Here, energy is top on our agenda – the President is involved all the way, even takes time to visit construction projects.
This might be a genuine concern, in general terms, but not here.”
Butare also stressed that funds are not Rwanda’s problem and noted that the country has three sources – government itself, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Belgium Technical Cooperation together with the European Union.
According to Butare work on over 25 micro-hydro projects, with capacities ranging from 40kw to 3000kw is ongoing, with total construction costs estimated at USD 20m and the projects will produce a total 16.5 mw once finalized.
“Government involvement is more than 50 percent. We have no money problem here – we are paying contractors, none have stopped working because of non-payment.”
As Butare noted, projects to be completed before end of December, each with a capacity of 200kw, include Mutobo in Musanze district, Agatobwe in Nyaruguru district, Janja in Gakenke district and Nyabahanga in Karongi district.
Others such as Rugezi (2200kw) in Burera district will be ready by end January 2010 while Nshili (400kw) in Nyaruguru district and Nyirabuhombohombo (500kw) in Nyamasheke district are expected to be completed by mid February.
In the Southern and Western Provinces, between eight and ten more sites are yet to be identified.