High voltage line project receives Euro 36m boost

The government, together with Germany Development Cooperation and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, yesterday signed a grant agreement worth €36.25m (approx Rwf 30 billion) to build a regional power transmission line. The 220 kilowatts power line will connect Rwanda to DR Congo from Kibuye-Gisenyi-Kigali then Gisenyi- Goma.
Dr. Daniela Beckmann the Director of Germany Development, ( L) together with Minister John Rwangombwa, signing a grant agreement yesterday. The New Times / Timothy Kisambira.
Dr. Daniela Beckmann the Director of Germany Development, ( L) together with Minister John Rwangombwa, signing a grant agreement yesterday. The New Times / Timothy Kisambira.

The government, together with Germany Development Cooperation and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, yesterday signed a grant agreement worth €36.25m (approx Rwf 30 billion) to build a regional power transmission line.

The 220 kilowatts power line will connect Rwanda to DR Congo from Kibuye-Gisenyi-Kigali then Gisenyi- Goma.

Part of the grant worth €19m is from Federal Republic of Germany while the € 17.25m has been made available by the Dutch.

The agreement paving way for the disbursement of the funds was signed between Finance Minister, John Rwangombwa, Country Director of Germany Development Cooperation, Kigali office, Dr. Daniela Beckmann, and Jolke Oppowal, Head of Netherlands Development Cooperation.

Speaking at the event, Rwangombwa hailed both Germany and the Netherlands for their continued support.

“The transmission line will help secure a reliable, low cost power supply to the load towns in Kigali and Goma and contribute further to the integration of regional power markets,” he said.

Rwangombwa added that the power line would meet the growing demand for electricity in Rwanda and its neighbouring nations.

He stressed that the project is in line with the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP), a regional power master plan and interconnection code. 

According to Nils Warner, Head of Germany Development Cooperation for Rwanda and Burundi, consistent and reliable supply of energy is essential towards promotion of economic and social development.

“The German government supports Rwanda’s successful development path and the establishment of interconnection lines is another great step towards regional integration and enough power availability in the region,” he said.

On his part, Oppowal stated that the interconnection line is needed to distribute electricity from the methane gas in Lake Kivu and other planned hydro power plants on River Rusizi.

“With this line in place, it will be easier to mobilise investments necessary to construct these projects needed to underpin economic growth in DR Congo and Rwanda,” he added.

Oppowal observed that the high voltage line will also allow the expansion of the national grids in Eastern DR Congo and northern Rwanda which will provide electricity access to households, communities and enterprises, thus stimulating local economic growth.

Charles Kanyamihigo, the Project Coordinator, said that the transmission line is now at an advanced stage and that by 2014, the project would be complete.

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