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Friday, June 24, 2022

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Rwanda : Mauritius PM And Rwandan Counterpart To Inaugurate Omnicane’s Omnihydro

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This hydroelectric plant is 98.1% owned by Omnicane. Built by its subsidiary Omnihydro (Rwanda) Ltd, the plant is operational and is named Mushishito-Rukarara Hydroelectric Plant. A first of its kind, it will be inaugurated by our Prime Minister, Pravind Jugnauth and his Rwandan counterpart, Dr Edouard Ngirente, this Sunday 26 June.

A Green Strategy in Rwanda developed by Mauritius

This is a clean and renewable bio-energy production project in Rwanda that fits perfectly with the energy transition imperatives discussed at the 26th Commonwealth Heads of State Summit, which is currently taking place in Kigali. It is in line with the Mauritian government’s ambition to achieve 60% renewable energy production by 2030. “We have no doubt that the experience acquired together will be a plus in the future to position Mauritius in pole position for similar projects, and this in the perspective of the energy transition and the preference given to clean and renewable energy production for the economic, social and technological development of the continent thanks to Mauritian know-how and financing,” said Jacques d’Unienville, CEO of Omnicane, already in Rwanda. “For MCB, financing projects like this is an important step in its sustainable development programme, entitled ‘Success Beyond Numbers’,” said Xavier Bathfield, Head of Mauritian and Regional Corporates at MCB, namely, this project represents a big challenge for the Omnicane conglomerate as it was developed at the height of the Covid 19 explosion!

Mushishito-Rukarara Hydroelectric Plant

Minus 14,500 metric tons of CO2 per year

The plant with a production capacity of 5 MW, was launched in 2015 and whose construction started in 2017, benefits from the financial support of the Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB). According to the agreement signed when Omnihydro purchased the Rwandan company Energy Utility Corporation Ltd (EUCL), the latter will operate the 5 MW plant for 25 years.

Phase 1 has been completed in 2019 and produces 2 MW. Phase 2 is expected to be completed by the end of 2022 and will produce 3 MW. This 5MW production is estimated to reduce carbon emissions by about 14,500 metric tons per year, comparable to planting 1,000 hectares of trees per year. It is expected to power, on average, 175,000 households in Rwanda. This 5 MW production will be connected to Rwanda’s national grid. Rwanda’s energy mix is made up of 55% renewable energy sources, of which 78% is hydro. In total, the country has 37 hydropower plants connected to its national grid. Isolated areas are supplied by 11 private micro-hydro plants.

600 jobs since 2015 and 20 permanently

This green strategy, developed by Omnihydro and incorporated in Rwanda in 2010, was led by Kevin Padiachy, Head of Africa Desk at Omnicane. It has created employment for around 600 people since 2015. On completion, some 20 permanent operators will be retained.  The project, located in Nyamagabe district, was built on two different banks, one on the Mushishito and the other on the Rukarara. Three turbines, one Pelton and two Francis, are installed. For its inauguration, Dr. Eduardo Ngirente and Pravind Jugnauth as well as senior officials from both countries, representatives of the Rwanda Development Board, Mauritius Commercial Bank and Omnicane will have to travel 150 km from the capital of Kigali to Southern Rwanda.

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