Shutting Down Diesel Power Plants in Rwanda to Lead to Annual Savings of at least Rwf20b by Government


The Government of Rwanda is set to save at least an estimated Rwf 20 to 24 billion annually after switching off diesel power plants.

In an interview on October 8, infrastructure minister Jimmy Gasore said the country decommissioned all its diesel power plants in June this year as it welcomed its newly launched hydroelectricity and methane gas power plants.

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The new power plants in question are Rusumo Hydro Project and Shema Power Lake Kivu Ltd. The Rusumo Hydro Project is a joint scheme shared by Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania. Upon full operation, it is expected to generate 80MW, with each country getting 26.6MW. Shema Power Lake Kivu Ltd is a methane gas power generation plant that aims at generating 56MW.

According to the 2022 Auditor General’s report, diesel power plants were the most expensive electricity generation mechanisms, producing power at a cost of Rwf 375.5 per Kilowatt hour (kWh), as opposed to hydro-electricity which costs about Rwf 136.9 per kWh.

The report looked at three diesel power plants in Rwanda, showing that they consumed a total of Rwf 38.8 billion to generate 103,416,460 kWh during 2022.

This means that the cost to obtain power from such power plants constituted 31 per cent of the total production costs incurred by the country, yet they only provided 14 per cent of the total energy mix.

“This ultimately resulted into production of expensive power,” the report noted.