Power shortage in Rwanda as Rusizi II power plant undergoes repairs

Power Transmission14 March 2014, Kigali – Businesses in Rwanda could lose millions of francs after the Energy Water and Sanitation Limited (EWSA Ltd) announced a four-day load shedding schedule due to power shortage.

“The management of Energy Water and Sanitation Limited (EWSA Ltd) wishes to inform its esteemed customers that due to the planned rehabilitation of Rusizi II hydro-power plant, there will be a power deficit of 12MW from Saturday March 15 – 18, 2014,” the utility body said in notice.

Due to this power deficit, there will be load shedding in some areas of the country. The management of EWSA Ltd apologises to esteemed customers for any inconveniences as a result of loss of power, it added.

Vincent Larry Mpaka, the acting director in charge of electricity utility, was tight-lipped about the specific parts of the country that will be affected by the repair works when asked about the exercise by this newspaper.

“Areas served by the 16 national grid networks will be affected. We will also carry out load shedding according to the tentative plan we had already designed, which will be communicated to clients before the exercise commences,” Mpaka said during a telephone interview yesterday. He noted that EWSA had already dispatched technical people to help clients, especially industrialists, in case of any anomalies that may arise during the rehabilitation process.

“We will be working around the clock to ensure that the impact of the deficit on businesses is minimised.” However, some business people said they were likely to suffer losses due to the four-day exercise. “Any power shortages spell doom; processors of perishable products could incur huge losses if they weren’t informed in advance,” said a Kigali-based industrialist.

Rusizi II power plant produces 27MW, but is projected to increase capacity to generate 36MW after maintenance works, Mpaka said. The plant contributes about 14 per cent of the energy onto the national electricity grid. The plant also supplies power to other countries, including Burundi. Rwanda’s total power generation capacity is 110.8MW, but the government plans to increase this to 563MW by 2018.


– The New Times

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