EU Grants €23m to Improve Energy Efficiency

The government of Rwanda on Thursday received a grant of €23 million (Frw 17.2 billion) from the European Union (EU) to improve energy efficiency by reducing energy losses in the Kigali grid.

The financing agreement was signed between the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete, and EU ambassador to Rwanda Michael Ryan.

Gatete said the project will upgrade existing grid infrastructure to increase in reliability of electricity delivery by reducing power losses. “The project will cover about 45% of Rwanda Energy Group’s (REG) grid loss program,” he said.

“Energy is one of the fundamental sectors that will catalyze the socio-economic development, so we have to make sure that we have modern infrastructure so that even the current energy supply is well used,” the Minister added.

The program will be implemented over a period of 3 years and consists of electricity infrastructure supplies as well as technical assistance.

Ambassador Ryan affirmed that the grant is zero-interest rated and aims for Kigali get full access to electricity. “We will make sure that we work with the government to achieve its ambitions,” he said.

The project goals are upgrading of the Mount Kigali, Birembo and Jabana substations as well as the construction of the new Gahanga substation.

A 23-km-long 110KV power line will be built to connect the stations and to complete what is called the Kigali-ring.

The implementation of this project will be done by REG under the supervision of the ministry of infrastructure.

“The losses we are experiencing now are due to weak substations, so we want to make sure that we get strong ones so that even the energy we will import from for example Kenya will be used well,” said Germaine Kamayirese, minister for State in charge of Energy, Water and Sanitation. “We want to make sure that we stop all fuel-driven generators to ensure tariff reduction.”

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