World Bank grants €72.3m for Jiji-Mulembwe hydropower project in Burundi

24 April 2014 (Last Updated April 24th, 2014 18:30)

The World Bank has approved a $100m (€72.3m) grant for the Republic of Burundi to construct two hydropower projects on Jiji and Mulembwe rivers.

The World Bank has approved a $100m (€72.3m) grant for the Republic of Burundi to construct two hydropower projects on Jiji and Mulembwe rivers.

The two hydropower stations will have a combined capacity of 48MW and will be located about 5km apart.

The total cost of the hydropower projects is estimated at $270m (€195m), while the remaining cost will be financed by the Burundi's government and other partners.

The project will produce electricity at $0.10 per kWh, which will replace power produced from alternate sources such as diesel generators that are high in cost, polluting and dependent upon imported fossil fuels.

"Only 4% of Burundi's ten million population has access to electricity, marking some of the lowest access rates anywhere in the world."

World Bank vice-president for Africa Makhtar Diop said: "By developing hydropower responsibly, the World Bank can contribute to peace and stability in the wider Great Lakes region."

"The Jiji-Mulembwe hydropower project will deliver clean, low-cost hydropower, and development impact for Burundi, while also protecting the environment."

Presently, only 4% of Burundi's ten million population has access to electricity, marking some of the lowest access rates anywhere in the world.

Meanwhile, Burundi's demand for electricity is surging and is estimated to grow from 46MW in 2012 to 92MW by 2018, reaching a high of 192MW by 2025.

World Bank director for sustainable development in region Jamal Saghir said: "Today's decision marks a major milestone in supporting the easing of Burundi's energy crisis.

"We look forward to effective implementation so that the project can deliver lasting development benefits to the people of Burundi and help achieve the goals of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative."

Nri