The much-anticipated Rusumo hydro-power project will cost a whopping US$300million (about Rwf177.3billion) with the works projected to commence by 2013, an expert conducting a ground assessment on the Rwandan side said.
The project, expected to be financed by development partners, is envisaged to supply a total of 90MW to Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania – with each of the countries benefitting from 30MW of power.
Emmanuel Rugumire Makuza, who was contracted by Nile Basin Discourse Forum (NBDF-Rwanda) – a platform dedicated to harnessing the region’s potential – said the project will start to generate electricity by 2017.
Currently, Rwanda produces about 80MW. “An additional 30 megawatts will greatly impact the country’s economy,” Makuza said.
The proposal to construct a power plant on Rusumo Falls was first conceived in 1970s but has never been realised.
Part of the construction phase include, a power house with three turbines equipped with generators, a lake reservoir storage and a two way road on top of the dam.
Studies on the dam construction are expected to end by next month (November) while 2012 would be dedicated to a funds mobilisation campaign, the expert said.
As part of paving way for the project, as many as 3,225 households will have to be expropriated from the Rwandan side of the border. A budget of US$60 million has been drawn for the expropriation and resettlement of the families on the Rwandan side.