The Ruzizi River flows from Lake Kivu to Lake Tanganyika, descending some 700 metres overall, with a particularly steep section of around 40 km. This is the location for the existing and planned hydropower plants, with an aggregate potential of 500 MW. Ruzizi I (30MW) was built in 1958 and is operated by the DRC utility, SNEL. Ruzizi II (44 MW) was built in 1989 and is operated by SINELAC, a tri-national public company created under the umbrella of the Economic Community of the Grand Lakes (CEPGL)20 and the Energie des Grands Lacs (EGL) – the sub-regional organization charged with energy developments in the Great Lakes region.
This Project concerns the rehabilitation of Ruzizi I and II hydropower plants (HPPs, and the associated transmission lines. For Ruzizi I, generation is expected to increase by 7.6 MW, while Ruzizi II is expected to see an expansion of 7.8 MW. The Project is also expected to contribute to climate change mitigation and regional integration.
In December 2014 engineers from France’s Ingerop had started work on a new batch of studies for the rehabilitation of the Ruzizi I and II hydro plants. The contract is financed by the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund, which is providing up to €3m ($4m), with Germany’s KfW as lead financier and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and European Investment Bank (EIB) as co-financiers.
The project is in preparation and works were expected to start in December 2015/January 2016.
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