The Project concerns the technical rehabilitation and private operation of the two regional Ruzizi I and II hydropower plants (HPPs) which are situated on the Ruzizi River, the natural border river between the DRC, Rwanda and Burundi. For Ruzizi I, the electricity production is expected to increase by 7.6 MW, while Ruzizi II is expected to see an expansion of 7.8 MW, adding cheap and sustainable power generation capacities for the region. The Project should also contribute to climate change mitigation and regional integration in an overall unstable region. A pre-requisite for development funding to the Project is the introduction of a private operation model facilitating the sustainable and cost-efficient management of the plants. To date, the technical studies for the rehabilitation are about to be finalized, however a final decision by the three states on a satisfactory rehabilitation concept for the two HPP is pending.
The EU-AITF grant operation covers studies on the institutional set-up of the regional Hydro Power Plants (HPP) Ruzizi I and II, their technical rehabilitation needs as well as a technical assistance for the Great Lakes Energy Organization (EGL). The institutional study analyses necessary institutional reforms, recommends technical and commercial management options and will prepare the tender documents for the recruitment of a private operator. The technical study will identify the rehabilitation needs of the HPPs and include the preparation of tender documents. With the TA measure, adequate support shall be provided to EGL in their role as coordinator of the Ruzizi and other regional energy projects. The studies and TA measure are quasi-finalized, however given continuous differences between the States and development partners on an adequate operation model, the project and with it the institutional study, was put on hold.