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Cape Town - The African Development Bank (AfDB), Embassy of Germany in Rwanda and the KfW Development Bank have joined the government of Rwanda to launch Shango power substation in Kigali to facilitate access to the regional electricity market.

In a statement on Tuesday, the group said the substation is part of the NELSAP Regional Interconnection Project involving Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, DRC and Burundi. The Rwandan component, at an estimated cost of 111.03 million euros, involves the construction of 286 km of 220 kV lines, three substations and the upgrade of two substations. 

The African Development Fund, part of the AfDB, contributed 38 million euros of the total project cost.

The Shango substation, the biggest in the country, has been designed to play a key role in the management of electricity dispatching services in Rwanda and a routing node for electricity trading between the East African neighbours. It is line with the bank’s "High 5 priorities", to light up, power and integrate Africa. 

Speaking at the inauguration, held last week, Martha Phiri, Bank Country Manager in Rwanda, expressed appreciation for the strong cooperation that the bank continued to enjoy with the government of Rwanda. 

"The energization of the Shango substation and related network will facilitate the country’s access to excess power of nearly 1,040 MW from the regional market, reducing reliance on expensive fossil-fuel generated power," Phiri said.

“This would eventually benefit the people and industries in Rwanda through increased availability, reliability of clean power and possible reduction in electricity tariffs.”

Rwanda is pursuing an ambitious target to achieve affordable, reliable and universal access to electricity by 2024 in line with the national strategy for transformation. 

The bank’s support to the energy sector has more than doubled over the past three years to the current level of 410.66 million euros, supporting seven public sector operations, of which three are regional projects and one a private sector operation.

- African News Agency (ANA)