Kinshasa, 29 July 2019: The Republic of Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Republic of Burundi signed a tripartite agreement on the multinational Ruzizi III regional hydropower plant project with the aim of contributing to the development of Ruzizi III for hydropower generation; and strengthening regional socio-economic integration through the creation of an electricity market.
Ruzizi III project is a 147 MW hydropower regional project between Burundi, DRC and Rwanda, to be developed as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Project. It is expected that after signing the project agreements, additional geological studies will be conducted which may result in an increase of the Project Capacity to up to 230 MW. The total project cost is expected to range between $ 644 and 700 million USD. Ruzizi III Hydropower project is a joint venture of two companies namely IPS (an Agha Kan owned company) and Sithe Global replaced by SN Power (a Norwegian).
The Project is supported by many lenders who will fund the debt through concessional and commercial loans. They include World Bank, African Development Bank, European Union KfW, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Commercial Banks and the Developer.
This first regional project designed as a PPP aimed at optimizing the hydropower potential of the Ruzizi cascade. For its implementation, a private partner, acting in the capacity of investor/developer, will be recruited and awarded a concession. This partner will be required to develop the project, be a majority partner in a project company (PC) with the three countries concerned and secure the necessary financing.
The project will generate many benefits, including: (i) increased supply of electricity in the region and consequently access to electricity at an affordable cost, the direct beneficiaries of which will be the population, electricity companies and businesses in the countries concerned; (ii) the creation of direct and indirect jobs during works and permanent jobs during the operational phase;(iii) a reduction in subsidies on fossil fuels and development of the industrial fabric for Governments, (iv) the creation of income-generating activities for women and youth; and(iv) improvement of population’s living conditions.