(SeeNews) - Oct 31, 2011 - Rwanda last Thursday turned on the switch of three micro-hydropower plants with a combined capacity of 3.2 MW, AllAfrica reported.
Project costs exceeded RWF 9 billion (USD 15m/EUR 11m), the newspaper said. Construction of the facilities, located in Rubavu and Rutsiro districts, has been co-funded by the Rwanda government and the government of Belgium under a cooperation programme between the countries.
Currently, only 15% of the population of Rwanda has access to electricity, AllAfrica reported, citing Infrastructure Minister Albert Nsengiyumva. By 2013 the government is planning to bolster power supply to all sectors, with priority given to health centres, local administration offices, trade centres and other social infrastructure. Solar power, micro-hydro, geothermal energy and other sustainable energy sources are to help achieve that goal.
At the same time, the EUR-160-million (USD 2234m) cooperation plan between Rwanda and Belgium, running from 2011 through 2014, includes EUR 55 million in funds to back electricity access roll-out programmes, the report said.
(RWF 100 = USD 0.168/EUR 0.112; EUR 1.0 = USD 1.400)