KIGOMA: THE country’s power supply is strengthening as the Regional Rusumo Falls Hydro-electric Project (RRFHP) has started to supply electricity to the national grid.
The project is among the in initiatives being undertaken by the government to ensure reliable power supply in the country come 2025.
The government is engaged in several other power projects including the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project (JNHPP) which is expected to generate 2,115 MW, a 150 MW solar farm among others.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Dr Dotto Biteko, the three countries which jointly execute the Regional Rusumo Falls Hydro-electric Project (RRFHP) have started receiving electricity from the project which has reached 99.9 per cent of its implementation.
The minister said the project will bring 80 MW of renewable, clean, relatively low-cost power to the national grids of Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania, with each country benefitting about 27 MW.
Dr Dotto Biteko spoke of the new development over the weekend while chairing a meeting for Ministers for Energy who oversee the implementation of the project from the three countries – Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
“We are satisfied with the progress of the project, we commend the board and executives from Rusumo Hydroelectric Company and contractors for good supervision of the project,” he said.
Dr Biteko, who is also Minister for Energy, said that they have agreed the project to be launched in March next year, calling upon the contractor to complete the project earlier and provide the completion certificate. He said the launch of the project will be held in Tanzania.
The minister said the project is crucial for the three countries because they are still facing the challenge of reliable power supply, saying power generated from the project will partly address the problem since it will strengthen the national grid.
Dr Biteko expressed gratitude to Presidents Samia Suluhu Hassan, Evariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi and Paul Kagame of Rwanda for their commitment in executing the project which has so far reached 99.9 per cent.
He also thanked various stakeholders who supported the project including World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB) calling upon them to invest in other power projects that are expected to be implemented in Tanzania.
For his part, Burundian Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum, Energy and Mines, Engineer Seleman Khamissi who represented the minister of the docket said that the three countries have agreed the project to be inaugurated in March next year, noting that the project will help to minimise challenges related to power availability.
From Rwanda the meeting was attended by Minister for Infrastructure Dr Jimmy Gasore who participated virtually.
The Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project is a hydropower project under joint development by the governments of Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania through a commonly owned Rusumo Power Company (RPCL).
The joint development was entered by the three governments through a Tripartite Agreement signed on 16th February, 2012. The project is located at Rusumo Falls at the common border of Rwanda and Tanzania on Kagera River.
The World Bank (WB) donated US 340million dollars for the construction of the power plant while the African Development Bank (ADB) had donated US 128.6million dollars for construction of transmission lines.