Rukarara hydropower plant nears completion

THE construction of the long awaited 9.5MW hydropower plant in Nyamagabe District, Southern Province is entering its final phase, the State Minister for Energy and Water has revealed.
The State Minister in Charge of Water and Energy, Eng. Coletha Ruhamya
The State Minister in Charge of Water and Energy, Eng. Coletha Ruhamya

THE construction of the long awaited 9.5MW hydropower plant in Nyamagabe District, Southern Province is entering its final phase, the State Minister for Energy and Water has revealed.

Engineer Coletha Ruhamya, said in an interview with The New Times that the Electricity production will be connected to the national electricity grid next month.

“They are now doing final installations and erecting a wall to protect the power house, we expect to connect the plant to the national electricity grid next month,” said Ruhamya in a telephone interview.

The construction of the Rukarara hydropower plant that started in 2007 was supposed to be completed in a period of 18 months, but according to the Minister, the contractor; a Sri Lankan firm; ECOPOWER-Global had technical problems that hampered the execution of the project.

“There was a lack of sufficient capacity on the part of the contractors to execute the project.
This was further worsened by the rugged terrain of the area that made the transportation of construction materials difficult,” the Minister said.

To ensure that the plant is constructed to the agreed standards, the Ministry of infrastructure contracted a management company to supervise construction works of the estimated US$19million project.

Currently, the Country generates 27.3MW of electricity through hydropower. In addition to the Rukarara hydropower project, other hydropower projects are being undertaken; these include the Nyabarongo hydropower plant which is expected to generate 28 MW of electricity once it is completed in 2013.

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