Regional energy ministers and development partners under the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme (Nelsap) have agreed on speeding up interconnection projects to boost power generation.
The decision was reached over the weekend after a meeting of energy ministers from Burundi, Sudan, Uganda and Rwanda at Hotel Novotel Umubano.
Kenya, DRC, Egypt and Tanzania ministers were represented at the high profile meeting.
A release issued after the meeting said the ministers noted that there is need to speed up the interconnection of projects that are ready.
The ministers resolved to spend $339 million (Approx. Frw 184bn) on interconnection. Rwanda is expected to pay about Frw21b.
“The region currently faces a generation capacity shortage but efforts are being put in place to boost power generation at national levels and to optimise and share the resources available in the region,” the release stated.
It added that there is need to put in place transmission lines that would improve transfer capabilities among member countries and to improve liability, security of power supply and access to cheap power.
Some of the interconnection projects include Jinja (Uganda) to Lessos (Kenya) of 249 kilometers and would weigh 220kv, worth $ 92.980.359.
The other projects include the 174km-Mbarara (Uganda)-to-Birembo (Rwanda) with 220kv, valued at $ 41.951.043. Rwanda is expected to pay 16,635,257 (Approx. Frw 8.720.billion) on this project.
Rwegura (Burundi) to Kigoma (Rwanda) interconnection of 103 kilometers with 110kv would cost $14,081,114 of which Rwanda would raise $ 9,436,558 (Approx. 5.1 billion)
Another project that involves Rwanda is the Goma (DRC)-Mukungwa (Rwanda) of 60 kilometers. This is expected to facilitate evacuation of power produced by Lake Kivu methane gas and would cost $ 6337800 of which Rwanda is expected to spend US$ 5,070,240 (Approx.2.7 billion).
Other projects are Bujubura (Burundi)-Rusizi-Goma (DRC) worth $1.2, Bujumbura (Burundi)-Kiliba (DRC) worth $ 2.3 and Arusha (Tanzania) interconnection with Nairobi (Kenya) worth $180 million.
The interconnection forms three transmissions lines around Lake Victoria, Lake Kivu and Lake Edward, connecting Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and the DRC.
The ministerial meeting recommended that member countries form a joint project management unit that would be responsible for the projects.