The Government of Rwanda and the Kingdom of Belgium have signed a financing agreement worth € 10million (Rwf 8.7 billion) to support electricity access roll-out programme (EARP) through Rwanda Energy Group (REG).
The agreement which was signed yesterday, will see Belgium contribute € 10million while the Government of Rwanda will inject another Euros 2million into the entire project.
The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete said the grant will improve access to reliable on-grid electricity services for households and priority public institutions.
It mainly focuses on two main areas including upgrading of existing networks and capacity building.
“As we continue to increase power production, it is important that it is distributed and accessed. Therefore the overall aim of this intervention is to provide sufficient, reliable and affordable energy for all Rwandans,” Minister Gatete said.
Jean-Bosco Mugiraneza, the Chief Executive of Rwanda Energy Group Ltd, said the funding will be used to upgrade 6.6kV to 30kV for a distance of 12km MV network and upgrade of 10 cabins on Rubavu network.
“It will also be used to upgrade the single phase to three phase network with a distance of 200km MV network in the Eastern Province,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Mugiraneza, said part of the support will be used to build the capacity of Electricity Development Corporation Limited staff to be able to plan, contract and manage grid interventions, whether it is grid extension or grid upgrade.
Arnout Pauwels, the Belgium Ambassador to Rwanda said Belgium is a long time development partner of Rwanda and will continue to provide support to energy and health sectors among other sectors.
The current indicative programme, between Belgium and Rwanda allocates a total grant envelope of €49 million to the energy sector in Rwanda, split over 4 interventions which include: Improving access to reliable and cost effective electricity services, capacity building, development of geothermal energy and private sector participation in energy generation. Rwanda targets to extend power to at least 70 per cent of the households in the country by 2018 from current 27 percent.
To achieve this ambitious goal, government projects to boost electricity generation to 563MW within the next two years.
Presently, the country’s total installed power capacity is around 190MW, an increase from 186MW in 2015.