The World Bank has approved a US$ 100 million grant to the Republic of Burundi to finance a 48 MW hydropower project.
The funds will support construction of two run-of-the-river hydro stations – one on the Jiji River and the other on the Mulembwe River, located about 5 km apart. The Jiji is a tributary of the Mulembwe River.
On Jiji River, plans are for a 13.5 m high concrete dam to be built, producing an 80,000 m3 reservoir. On the Mulembwe River, a 14 m high concrete dam will be built to hold 40,000 m3 of water.
The World Bank said only 4% of Burundi’s 10 million people currently have access to electricity –some of the lowest access rates in the world. As Burundi grows, its demand for electricity is expected to increase from 46 MW in 2012 to 92 MW by 2018, reaching a high of 192 MW by 2025.
The overall cost of the Jiji-Mulembwe hydropower project is estimated at US$ 270 million, with the rest of the development financed by the Burundi Government and other development partners.