PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has directed the contractors of the Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project (RRFP) to ensure timely completion of the power project and avoid any setbacks.
The Premier made an inspection tour of the project on Sunday, where he expressed his pleasure over the construction pace after learning that by July this year, the project implementation had reached 81.2 per cent.
“I have been pleased by the level of construction reached so far. This is a good step, possibly President Samia Suluhu Hassan would also come here to see the progress of the project,” Premier Majaliwa said, as he thanked the contractors and project supervisors on behalf of President Samia.
Mr Majaliwa noted that implementation of the joint project was to develop good relations among the three nations of Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda and cement brotherhood and cooperation. “Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda are friends and have a long relationship… this ongoing project proves our brotherhood,” he elaborated.
Mr Majaliwa said the regional power project would be a savior for residents in the regions of Kagera, Kigoma, Rukwa and Katavi who would be assured of reliable power supply. “Our president’s plan is to connect all regions to the national grid, and we have now remained with four regions of Kagera, Kigoma, Katavi and Rukwa. In all these regions, works of installing electric poles are ongoing,” he stated.
The RRFP is a hydropower project under joint development by the governments of Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda through a commonly owned Rusumo Power Company (RPCL). This joint development located at Rusumo Falls, at the common border of Rwanda and Tanzania on River Kagera, was entered by the three governments through a Tripartite Agreement signed on February 16th, 2012.
The project will have a production capacity of 80MW to be shared among member countries, whereby 27MW will be for each member country’s national grid. The cost of the power plant construction, 340 million US dollars (782bn/-), is funded by the World Bank (WB) whereas the African Development Bank (AfDB) is funding transmission lines at a cost of USD 128.6 million (298.3bn/-).
The implementation of the projects is part of the government’s plans to continue implementing strategic power projects and adding more sources of energy to make all parts of the country, especially rural areas, access reliable electricity.
On his part, Deputy Minister for Energy, Stephen Byabato, said the project has employed 726 citizens from three countries, whereby 260 Tanzanians got employed. Mr Byabato further said the project would also be a catalyst for investment in the industrial sector.