Ruzizi III Project : Project launch by the African Development Bank

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Ruzizi III Project : Project launch by the African Development Bank

 It is held from Monday 14 to Friday 18 October 2019, at the City Hill Hotel in Bujumbura, a kick-off meeting for the construction project of the regional hydroelectric plant of Ruzizi III (147MW) and evaluation of the study project of the plant Ruzizi IV hydroelectric (287MW). This meeting brings together Experts from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and those from the CEPGL Organization for the Energy of the Great Lakes Countries (EGL).

The opening ceremony was marked by two speeches delivered respectively by the General Director of the EGL, Mr. Charles VUMBI MBENGA and by Mr. Ibrahima KONATE, Focal Point of the Ruzizi III Project at the African Development Bank and Head of Mission of the AfDB delegation.

In his word of circumstance, Mr. Charles VUMBI MBENGA stressed that the AfDB mission for the launch of the Ruzizi III project constitutes an important step forward in the preparation of the implementation of EGL energy projects including in particular the Ruzizi III project.

For his part, Mr. Ibrahima Konate indicated that the AfDB has mobilized, with a strong and diversified team of 11 Experts including technical, financial, environmental and social skills, to launch the construction project of the regional hydroelectric power station of Ruzizi III and proceed to the evaluation of the study project of the Ruzizi IV project before clarifying that the AfDB is the only financial institution which has already had the financing granted to the Ruzizi III project approved by its Board of Directors.

It should be noted that this meeting comes after seven years (7) and hard negotiations between the CEPGL member states (Burundi, DR Congo and Rwanda) and the Private Consortium, made up of Industrial Promotion Services Limited of Kenya and SN Power of Norway, on the Ruzizi III Project Agreements which were signed by the Parties in negotiation on July 29, 2019 in Kinshasa in DR Congo. The financial closing of this  project is scheduled for November 2021.

The future Ruzizi III regional hydroelectric plant  will be designed, built and operated by the Company Ruzizi III Energy Limited whose share capital is 70% owned by the Private Consortium and by the CEPGL States which hold the whole 30% of the capital social. The construction of the plant and its related infrastructure will be financed by concessional debts granted to the States (80%) and commercial debts granted to the company Ruzizi III Energy Limited (20%).

As for the Ruzizi IV hydroelectric power plant study project, it is co-financed by the European Union (90%) and by the AfDB (10%).

During the five days of the AfDB mission, the EGL team will have to learn from AfDB experts the procedures applicable to the Ruzizi III and Ruzizi IV projects, which are related to:

- AfDB Group procurement rules and procedures;
- AfDB Group financial management rules and procedures;
- AfDB Group disbursement rules and procedures;
- Procurement plan;
- Fragility and Resilience etc.

It is expected that at the end of this mission, the participants in the meeting generated a launch report for the Ruzizi III project, an evaluation report for the Ruzizi IV study project, an indicative timetable for implementation. of these two hydroelectric projects and an aide-memoire sanctioning the progress and conclusions of these two missions.

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