Investments needed to boost power distribution facilities

Tuesday October 9 2018

Power

Old power facilities hamper reliable supply of electricity to all. PHOTO | Cyril Ndegeya 

LEONCE MUVUNYI
By LEONCE MUVUNYI
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While the country has tripled its electricity generation from 75 megawatts in 2010 to the current 218 megawatts, the government will need to increase investments to improve substations and upgrade electricity transmission and distribution networks to bridge the energy deficit.

The old facilities are undermining progress with part of the generated electricity lost before transmission.

With the current infrastructure facilities, the country losses around 44 megawatts, which represents 20 per cent of the electricity produced. According to official figures, only 139 megawatts is utilised during peak hours.

Recent launch

However, losses are expected to be minimised following the recent launch of newly constructed 40 mega-volt power substation at the Kigali Special Economic Zone, which was partly financed by the Japanese government.

The substation is expected to stabilise power supply in the area, which is taking up the bigger share of total power supplied in Kigali city, which is currently consuming over 64 per cent of all the country’s energy production.

“The support we are getting from Japan is excellent as their technology is of a higher standard and has been incorporated at the substation. It will allow us to reduce the losses and enable us to support the economic zone better,” said Ron Weiss, the chief executive officer of Rwanda Energy Group.

“We are still constructing several substations that will come live later this year like Mont Kigali and Gahanga substation. We plan to have many more substations all over the country to support the development of Rwanda,” Mr Weiss added.

In Phase one, access to reliable and stable electricity increased by 35 per cent on grid as of June.

Officials from the Ministry of Infrastructure say that apart from the Ndera substation, construction of three substations in North and Eastern parts of the country is ongoing.

“We are supporting this substation to supply stable electricity to this area, in order to attract more foreign direct investments,” said Takayuki Miyashita, the Japanese ambassador to Rwanda during the launch of the substation.

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