Rwanda in search of Company to Fund Peat Power Project as it toils to add 80 megawatts to grid

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Rwanda is looking for reputable international and local companies to fund its peat to power project that is expected to add 80 megawatts (MW) to the national grid.

Claver Gatete, Rwanda minister of finance and economic planning, told reporters on Thursday that the country is seeking for funds to finance peat energy project at a tune of 225 million U.S. dollars.

“We are engaging in a highly ambitious peat power project that will enable our country to meet the 563 megawatts target by 2018, and be able to provide the required energy for our growing economy. We are looking for funds to make the peat energy extraction a reality,” he said.

The peat to power project is located in Akanyaru marshland, Gisagara district, Eastern Province, and is expected to generate 80 MW to the national grid upon completion, according to the Rwanda ministry of infrastructure.

Rwanda is looking at Preferential Trade Association-PTA bank, African Finance Corporation, Development Bank of Rwanda and Afreximbank, to finance the multimillion dollar scheme.

The small central African country has set an ambitious target to increase installed electricity generation capacity to 563 MW within the next two years which requires massive investments in energy sector worth 3 billion U.S. dollars.

Presently, Rwanda energy production capacity is about 161 MW, up from 50 MW seen in 2008.

According to Jean Bosco Mugiraneza, chief executive of Rwanda Energy Group (REG), Rwanda is developing at fast rate which presses a huge demand to power generation against the available energy supply.

“We have set an ambitious energy production target to reduce the country’s electricity deficit. The target is achievable because of the promising ongoing projects and those ones in the pipeline,” he said.

Mugiraneza emphasized that Boosting energy generation will not only attract investment to the country, but will also greatly improve the welfare of Rwandans.

Rwanda energy primary use is dominated by biomass which accounts for 86.3 percent.

To support Rwanda energy capacity increment, in December last year the World Bank approved 95 million U.S dollars for Rwanda’s energy sector.

In May this year, Rwanda unveiled a mega methane gas power plant — the Kivu-Watt Gas Power project, which is expected to produce 100 MW electricity from Lake Kivu, Karongi district, western province, the world’s only methane-rich water body.

The country is set to import 30 MW from Kenya on a five year long arrangement expected to start later this year. Rwanda also plans to import 400 MW of power from Ethiopia by 2018.

In February last year, Rwanda unveiled 23.7 million U.S dollars solar power plant, the first of its kind in the region and the third in Africa after the ones in South Africa and Mauritius.

The utility power located in Rwamagana district, eastern province that was developed by the Netherlands-based company, Gigawatt Global, adds 8.5 MW to the national electricity grid.

Source: Xinhua