The building began on Saturday, May 21, 27 kilometers from Kigali, at the crossroads of the Southern and Northern regions.

The $214 million project is the first phase of the Nyabarongo II Multipurpose Development Project, which aims to reduce flooding in marshes along the Nyabarongo and Akagera rivers.

The project aims to generate a total of 134 megawatts, including 43.5 megawatts from the Nyabarongo II hydropower plant, 40 megawatts from the Butamwa pump storage power plant, 40 megawatts from the Juru pump storage power plant in Bugesera, and 10.5 megawatts from the Lake Sake Outlet Hydropower plant in Ngoma District.

Energy Development Corporation Limited (EDCL) Managing Director Felix Gakuba believes the project would be critical in assisting the government in meeting its energy goals.

« We are optimistic about the project because it will help us achieve our goal of complete coverage of energy by 2024, since we will have increased our generation capacity, » he said.

The project, according to Northern Province Governor Dancille Nyirarugerero, would increase the living conditions of the host people once completed.

« Poverty seldom coexists with access to electricity, » she added, « since improved access to dependable and inexpensive power helps individuals to build more developmental initiatives, lowers the cost of conducting business, and enhances the population’s standard of life. »

Sinohydro, a Chinese construction corporation, will spearhead the large-scale water conservation and hydropower development project, which is the Chinese government’s largest initiative in Rwanda at the moment.

The Chinese Embassy of Rwanda’s Charge d’Affaires, Wang Jiaxin, describes some of the problems that the initiative will address.

« Floods cause damage to infrastructure and livelihoods every year, and some communities lack access to energy owing to geographical factors, » he added.

« So, with this project, we want to convert flood-affected fields to arable lands and raise the incidence of power, so that more people will have access to energy and local people’s lives will be facilitated, » he added.

The project, which will take place over 600 hectares of land in the districts of Rulindo, Gakenke, and Kamonyi, will be completed in three parts over 56 months (2027).