Rwanda: EDCL partners with private players to boost power supply

Jul 04, 2016 12:00 AM

Energy Development Corporation Limited (EDCL) has signed an agreement with off grid electrification companies to improve supply of electricity across the country.

The companies are Mobisol, NESELTEC and NOTS.

The initiative is part of the bid to have 70 per cent electricity coverage of the country by 2018.

At least 48 per cent of the target will be grid connection while 22 per cent is expected to be off grid connections such as solar photovoltaic and mini grid among others.

According to Jean Bosco Mugiraneza, the chief executive officer of Rwanda Energy Group, the agreement is part of efforts to achieve the set target.

"Signing this agreement is one way towards achieving this target. It's not easy, that's why we are changing strategies, engaging more investors especially in off grid solutions," he said.

"Adding these new companies to the two existing is a new momentum to the off grid solutions. We hope to see changes in rural areas within a year," he added.

Emmanuel Kamanzi, the managing director of Energy Development Corporation limited said the initiative will help in the reduction of use of kerosene candles in rural areas which are harmful to the health of users because of its fumes.

Bart Hartman, the chief entrepreneur of NOTS enterprises, said the off grid system is cheaper than grid and will facilitate lighting of rural areas.

"With off grid solar system, you can provide each with the system that caters for the needs of households. There is a small system which is cheaper, the bigger system and we also have a moderate system. One can start with one lamp and can upgrade and add a battery with higher capacity," he said.

Mobisol GmbH and Ignite Power limited are two companies that have been operating in the country. The two companies have already signed an agreement with EDCL to electrify 50,000 and 250,000 households, respectively.

EDCL realised that the two companies are not enough to achieve the 22 percent of the off grid electrification, thus, invited more companies on board.

Currently, 600,000 people that represents 24.3 percent of the population have access to electricity.

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