The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has formally approved US$138M of loans and grants to finance the Ruzizi III hydropower plant project. The scheme is part of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa and involves Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda.

The financing will enable the construction of a run-of-river dam straddling the Ruzizi River between the DRC and Rwanda, as well as a 147MW power plant and distribution station. By ensuring reliable and affordable electric power, Ruzizi III will increase the region’s access to electricity by 300% and contribute to the sustainable socio-economic transformation of the region. The DRC, Rwanda and Burundi have all been experiencing difficulties in meeting electricity demands due to a lack of major energy infrastructure investment during the past decade, while their populations and economic activity have continued to grow.

Electricity generated from this regional project will also feed into the East African Power Pool.