AfDB Supports Energy Access Project in Rwanda

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The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has approved a combined loan and grant amounting to US$ 41 million in support of an energy project in Rwanda.  The Scaling up Energy Access Project approved on 26 June in Tunis is designed to support the Government’s strategic vision and its 2013-2018 Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS-2).

The project will help improve access to electricity for households and priority public institutions in the Northern and Western provinces of Rwanda, ensure reliable electricity supply, and support scaling up “inclusive and green” connections through the use of Compact Florence Lamps in future connections and free distribution and installation of “ready-boards.”. These connections come with two sockets and one lamp holder, targeting the most vulnerable households.

The project involves upgrading and rehabilitation of two substations in the Northern Province, the Gifurwe substation to 10MVA capacity and the Rulindo substation to 20MVA capacity; building about 464 km of medium voltage (MV) and 710 km of low-voltage (LV) distribution networks in both provinces; and connecting 25,438 households and priority institutions (179 schools, 29 health centers and 25 sector administration offices) to the grid along both in Northern and Western provinces.

An estimated 25,438 rural households in both Northern Province (Rulindo and Gicumbi districts) and Western Province (Ngororero, Rusizi, Nyamasheke, Nyabihu and Karongi districts), are expected to directly benefit from the project. The project will also provide access to modern, reliable energy to 179 schools, 29 health centers, and 25 sector administration offices. Small-scale businesses and the few large commercial and industrial clients located in the area will benefit from the program.

The total cost of the project is US$ 45 million, of which the Bank approved US$ 41 million  through an African Development Fund (ADF) loan of US$ 23.24 million and ADF grant of US$ 17.81 million.  The rest of the financing will be covered by the Government of Rwanda.

At the end of January 2013, the Bank’s portfolio comprised 20 operations. These included 16 sovereign loans and grants and four private-sector operations, amounting to a total commitment of US$ 420.70 million. The Bank’s portfolio distribution by sector shows that infrastructure (energy, transport, and water) accounts for 62% of the total commitments, followed by agriculture, 18%; private sector, 12%; human development, 5%, and multi-sector, 2%.