Govt turns to Chinese to fast-track Nyabarongo II hydro-power project

Government signing a memorandum of understanding with Sinohydro Corporation, a Chinese state-owned company, that aim at establishing a framework that will help fast-track the development of the 120MW Nyabarongo II power project.
Nyabarongo I hydro-power plant in this November 25, 2014 picture. The Government has signed a deal with Sinohydro to enable the Chinese firm draft a proposal to construct Nyabarongo II power plant. (Timothy Kisambira)
Nyabarongo I hydro-power plant in this November 25, 2014 picture. The Government has signed a deal with Sinohydro to enable the Chinese firm draft a proposal to construct Nyabarongo II power plant. (Timothy Kisambira)

Government signing a memorandum of understanding with Sinohydro Corporation, a Chinese state-owned company, that aim at establishing a framework that will help fast-track the development of the 120MW Nyabarongo II power project.

The deal will enable the investor (Sinohydro) draft a proposal and quotations for the project, according to the Ministry of Infrastructure.

A source at the ministry added that a team of experts from Sinohydro has already met their Rwandan counterparts to work out the details of the project.

He said the project will be undertaken under the build, operate and transfer model.

“The Chinese will hand over the project after recouping money invested as will be agreed on in the power purchasing agreement between both parties,” he explained.

He added that the Ministry of Infrastructure has already shared relevant documentation on the project with the investor, and expects final proposal and quotations from the Sinohydro within the next four months.

The two parties are expected to sign the agreement by the end of the year, according to the official.

Rwanda’s current installed power capacity is 156MW and government targets to generate about 563MW by 2017.

Already, the government has managed to generate 28MW from Nyabarongo I power plant, and is also looking at other alternative sources to make sure it achieves this objective.

Overall, the national power generation capacity is expected to increase by 61.5MW by 2015, when projects including Kivuwatt (25MW) Gishoma Peat Plant (15MW) and Giggawatt solar power plant (8.5MW) are connected onto the national grid.

Other efforts to increase power supply include importing 30MW from Kenya and another 400MW from Ethiopia in the short-term.

According to James Musoni, the Minister for Infrastructure, government will kick-start construction of some big projects that will have a combined capacity of 300MW, and other micro hydro-power plants that will generate 20MW.

business@newtimes.co.rw

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