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Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi in electric deal

Staff writer |
Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi have signed a memorandum of understanding which would help implementation of the Regional Rusumo Falls Hydro-electric project to cost $340 million.

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The objective of the Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project is to increase power supply of electricity to the national grids of Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania.

The project will strengthen the capacity of the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme (NELSAP) and its emergence as a regional centre of excellence. The project's regional approach to infrastructure development will help to lower costs, enable joint management of the hydropower generation and transmission system, and demonstrate mutual benefits attainable.

When completed, the Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project will have an installed capacity of 80 MW (Run of River Scheme at 1320masl) to be shared among Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania.

Commissioning of the project is expected to take place in 2017. A 90 MW reservoir design had been envisaged earlier, but was abandoned in favour of an 80 MW design with a smaller environmental impact and an estimated cost of US$340 million as opposed to US$400 million for the bigger project. The World Bank announced on the 6th of August 2013 that it has approved the funding needed for the project.

The power generated will be shared equally between the countries of Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania. Power will be evacuated from the power generation plant via 220 kV transmission lines to transmission stations in Gitega in Burundi, a distance of 158 kilometres (98 mi), to Kigali in Rwanda, a distance of 115 kilometres (71 mi), and to Nyakanazi in Tanzania, a distance of 98 kilometres (61 mi).

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