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Creating a regional power exchange market

A new power transmission line from Kibuye to Birembo via Goma aims to achieve a cheaper and safer power supply, system stability and an optimised use of energy, as part of a power transmission project in Central and East Africa.

The project is designed to create a regional power exchange market between Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, under the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme (NELSAP).

It seeks to improve the living conditions of the people, as well as the quality of the region’s socioeconomic development environment. This will be based on the availability of affordable electrical energy and access by the communities to electricity through increased cross-border electrical power trading.

The pre-investment study funded through the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund (ITF), covers load forecasting, economical and financial calculations, line routing, tower spotting, a geological survey, an environmental and social impact assessment, data sheets, drawings and price sheets.

A feasibility study for a 220 kV electrical transmission line network will help secure funding for the next step. While the German government and the African Development Bank have already allocated the investment costs of the Kibuye-Goma-Birembo line, the government of the Netherlands will make a formal decision once the results of the study are available.

The ITF allocated a grant of € 0.8 million in April 2010, out of a grand total of € 208.9 million for grant operations approved for the 2007-2010 period.