Groundwork for country’s largest hydro plant begins

KIGALI - The initial surveying for the construction of the 27.5 MW Nyabarongo hydro-power plant, the biggest of its kind in the country, is well in progress an official from the Infrastructure ministry confirmed on Tuesday.
Eng Albert Butare.
Eng Albert Butare.

KIGALI - The initial surveying for the construction of the 27.5 MW Nyabarongo hydro-power plant, the biggest of its kind in the country, is well in progress an official from the Infrastructure ministry confirmed on Tuesday.

Yussuf Uwamahoro, the coordinator of the energy sector in the ministry of Infrastructure stated that one of the Indian companies, contracted to construct the plant has already embarked on a survey, likely to be concluded in three months’ time.

“Right now, the company – Angelique International Ltd – has started conducting engineering studies that include looking at the geological conditions,” Uwamahoro said, explaining that this process also entails processes such as the design of the power plant.

“This company is going to undertake the civil works part of the contract and they are already on the ground and have deployed some staff to collect preliminary data,” he added, referring to what he termed as the initial “desk work” of the whole process.

Eng. Albert Butare, the State Minister for Energy and other officials lay the project’s foundation stone in Ndaro sector, in Ngororero District, Western Province mid-December last year.

A consortium of two India-based companies, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) and Angelique International Ltd under an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) agreement are working on the project.

When completed, in about four years’ time, the plant will be the largest domestic hydropower plant in the country, producing almost half the power currently being utilized.

Uwamahoro also stressed that measures are being taken to guarantee the project’s appropriate progress.

He explained that as Angelique International Ltd was now making steps forward, a private supervising company was being hurriedly looked for.

“We are in the process of recruiting a consulting firm, to supervise, cross-check and control everything. Hopefully by the end of this month (January) that will be settled,” he stated.

The current project’s construction cost of USD 99.7million has been partly availed by India’s Axim Bank in a USD 80 million line of credit to be refunded in 20 years.

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