Two upgraded substations which are expected to improve efficiency in power supply, especially in the Northern Province, were inaugurated on Wednesday.
The substations are Rulindo and Gifurwe located in Rulindo and Burera districts respectively.
The upgrade on Rulindo substation, according to officials, was informed by the overload of the existing small substation, which had to be transformed into a switching substation linked to Gabiro substation.
The transformer of Gifurwe substation was destroyed in 1994, hence necessitating rehabilitation.
All outgoing feeders namely Gakenke, Kirambo and Ntaruka were connected to one switch - disconnectors to supply power, the ministry of infrastructure said.
This meant that failure of any of the feeders would cause power outages for many households, hence making rehabilitation necessary.
The Government received a $7.2million loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) through the Scaling Up Energy Access Project (SEAP) to upgrade the two substations.
Rulindo has two transformers with a combined 20 MVA Gifurwe has one transformer of 10 MVA.
The Chief Executive Officer of REG, Ron Weiss said that the project will tremendously improve reliability and quality of power supply in the Northern Province.
“There is a big improvement in terms of reduced outages for feeders supplied from both Rulindo and Gifurwe. This does not only translate into improved service delivery but also a financial gain to us.” he said.
Despite the efforts being made to increase access and generation capacity of the country, the losses due to old power facilities have been undermining progress.
This explains the need to improve power substations and upgrade the transmission and distribution network all over the country.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Patricie Uwase, hailed the support from the Africa Development Bank, saying had boosted power distribution.
“We have confidence that the completion of this phase will boost our network operations, reduce power and energy losses,” she said.
Egidia Mutuyemungu, one of the beneficiaries who runs a haircut saloon said access to reliable electricity supply has improved her earnings.
“Since the government upgraded the electricity plant we have enough and reliable electricity and we work without any challenge,” she said.