Angelique International, a power development firm, has been given until October 31 to deliver the 28 megawatts to the national electricity grid following talks with government.
The new deadline took effect yesterday after discussions between the Minister for Infrastructure, James Musoni, and the president of Angelique International, Ajay Krishna Goyal, in Kigali.
Both Musoni and Krishna toured the Muhanga-based site yesterday to assess its structures, including the dam turbines, reservoirs, diversion tunnel and intake structure.
After observing that the project had delayed due to a “few technical glitches” and that the deadline of April 19 was never met, Musoni said Angelique International had indicated that most of the work is complete now and that they were confident of launching it next month.
“There were a few technical problems but Angelique has been able to sort them out. They are confident that they will be able to transmit 28 megawatts from the dam on the national electricity grid, and this will tremendously benefit all Rwandans,” Musoni said.
In case the deadline is not respected, Musoni said his office was in the process of signing a contract with the firm, which will stipulate the way forward, including punitive measures for whichever side found in fault.
“If anything happens, we will have to first assess where the problem is before we take any decision, but we are confident that the project will take off.”
Nyabarongo Hydo power Dam, located on Nyabarongo River in Mushishiro, Muhanga District, has consumed $100 million since its construction began in 2009 and will be the biggest dam, operating two turbines each generating 14 megawatts.
With roughly two months remaining before deadline day, Angelique International has beefed up construction works at the site, and is set to inject another US$10 million to make final touches as well as to complete the power transmitters.
“All the problems are in the past; now we are progressing really fast and as the minister has seen, we work day and night to ensure that our results meet government expectations,” Krishna said.
However, one challenge remains. According to Krishna, low levels of rainfall this year have affected the dam’s capacity because the volume of water passing through the turbine has been too low.
“Rainfall has been a challenge because without it, the dam cannot generate electricity. Hopefully, rainfall will increase in these months and the run-of-river will be stronger,” Krishna said.
The government seeks to have 563 megawatts oon the national grid to ensure that at least 70 per cent of households are connected to electricity by 2017.