October 17 (Renewables Now) - The African Development Bank (AfDB) said today it has signed a EUR-229.2-million (USD 264.5m) loan with the government of Rwanda to help expand electricity access and improve electricity supply in the country.
The funding, under the Scaling Up Electricity Access Program Phase II, will support the construction of 795 km of medium-voltage and 7,317 kms of low-voltage lines. It was approved by the bank earlier this month.
"The approved program will enable the Government to add over 193,000 new on-grid and over 124,000 off-grid connections," said Amadou Hott the bank's vice president for power, energy, climate change and green growth.
The country aims to achieve universal electricity access by 2024, using a combination of on-grid and off-grid solutions, like solar home systems. In seven years, access to electricity in Rwanda has increased from 18% to 44% as at end of June 2018.
The funding includes a EUR-165.59-million loan from AfDB and EUR 63.61 million from the African Development Fund, and will be for three fiscal years ending in 2021/22. The sum represents 8.2% of Rwanda's budget for the Energy Sector Strategy Plan.
The bank said its support will make electricity supply more reliable, boost on-grid and off-grid access to renewable energy for households and commercial use and improve institutional capacity to execute the government energy programme.
The financing will be provided to subsidiaries of government-owned Rwanda Energy Group Ltd, which runs the country's energy infrastructure.
(EUR 1 = USD 1.154)