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Rwanda needs U.S. three billion dollars to fix local energy sector

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Rwanda has set an ambitious target to increase installed electricity generation capacity to 563MW by 2018 which requires massive investments worth three billion U.S. dollars.

To achieve the planned generation by next year, the central African country is set to host a high level energy investment meeting slated for November 1-2 in the capital Kigali.

The energy infrastructure event organized by Spintelligent, Cape Town-based trade exhibition and conference organizer, and the African office of Clarion Events Ltd, based in the UK is expected to gather investors from all over the world to look into strategies to increase private investment into Rwanda’s power sector and discuss the private sector’s role in energy infrastructure development.

Presently, Rwanda energy production capacity is about 161 megawatts, up from 50 megawatts which were available in 2008.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Jean Bosco Mugiraneza, chief executive of Rwanda Energy Group said the forum will provide market entry for both local and foreign investors towards exploring potential energy investment opportunities in Rwanda.

"To achieve the electricity generation target outlined in the national electricity rollout plan, significant private sector investment is required. Rwanda has created an environment in which the private sector can thrive, by limiting corruption and developing transparent regulatory frameworks," he noted.

The conference which is going to be held in Rwanda for a third time will lay a platform for networking opportunities between investors and the government to engage in credible business consortiums designed to deliver a viable investment and delivery plan to progress Rwanda’s energy mandate.

The meeting will also showcase the progress made and the work still to be undertaken to deliver on Rwanda’s development agenda of Vision 2020, which is to achieve 70 percent electrification connectivity by 2018 from 24 percent at the moment.

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 megawatts from Lake Kivu, Karongi district, western province, the world’s only methane rich water body.

Rwanda is also set to import 30 megawatts from Kenya on a five-year long arrangement, which is expected later this year.

The country also plans to import 400MW of power from Ethiopia by 2018, aimed at increasing electricity supply in the country, especially for industrial use.

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.



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