Between November 3, 2023, and January 31, 2024, the 80MW Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project delivered a total of 66 million kWh of electricity to three countries, with Burundi receiving the highest allocation of 22 million KWh while Rwanda and Tanzania both received 21 million KWh. The Rusumo Project Manager (PM) Eng. Alloyce Oduor revealed this on February 1, 2024.

“After completing all required tests, NELSAP has signed the certificates of completion and handed over two of the three turbines to the Rusumo Power Company Limited (RPCL), the special purpose vehicle formed by the three countries to manage the plant on their behalf, after completion and handover from NELSAP,’ said Eng. Dr. Isaac Alukwe, NELSAP-CU Regional Coordinator. The Rusumo plant has three.

“All three turbines have been tested, and each can operate at 105% individually,’ said Eng. Alloyce Oduor. The Project Manager said this while addressing journalists from seven (7) NEL countries that visited the plant on January 31, 2024. Final tests on the third turbine are ongoing. Once engineers complete the tests, NELSAP and RPCL will sign a final handover certificate ahead of the official inauguration by the heads of States of the three countries, planned for April 2024.

“Burundi’s peak power demand is an average of 90MW, so if the country gets 27MW from Rusumo, it will represent a significant percentage of lower-cost power. Rwanda has an average peak power demand of 250MW, and an additional 27MW is technically substantial. Tanzania, on the other hand, has a peak power demand of over 1,000MW. Whereas an additional 27MW may look relatively small, it is significant because it will stabilize the voltage level of the Northern and North-Western parts of the country and make the quality of power in that region better and more reliable,” added Eng. Oduor. He explained that the critical causes of power outages are an imbalance between generation and uptake and added that these two must

<< All three turbines have been tested, and each can operate individually at 105%. Final tests on the third turbine are ongoing and once complete, NELSAP and RPCL will sign a final handover certificate ahead of the official inauguration >>

Match on a second-by-second basis, and disturbances can occur if they don’t match at any point.
The World Bank-funded 80MW Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Power Project is a low-cost renewable energy source that will lower the cost of power in the countries and stabilize the voltage levels. Once power from the plant enters the country’s grid, the utilities can switch off expensive fossil-fuel-generated energy sources. The utilities will then pass these lower costs to end users. The Rusu-mo Power project is a notable example of the benefits of transboundary collaboration, and it holds great promise for the economies and people of the three countries. It will spur industrialization, improve the delivery of water, health, and education services, support economic activities like manufacturing, and improve people’s lives through access to lower-cost electricity.