Small-scale run-of-the-river hydropower plant Rwaza I adds 2.7 MW to the Rwandan grid

responsAbility Renewable Energy Holding’s first power plant becomes operational

December 20183 min read

Nairobi, 2 December 2018 — responsAbility Renewable Energy Holding (rAREH), the responsAbility-managed Nairobi-based energy company focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa, is starting a new chapter in its company history: Rwaza I, a 2.7 MW run-of-the-river hydropower plant located on Rwanda’s Mukungwa river, is the first rAREH project to become operational. 

The Republic of Rwanda ranks among the lowest in the region in terms of electricity consumption per capita. Located on Rwanda’s Mukungwa river in the Rwaza-Muko area, the 2.7 MW hydropower plant Rwaza I has now started feeding electricity into the Rwandan grid. The small-scale power plant uses the environmentally-friendly run-of-the-river technology. The project company, Rwaza Hydropower Limited, is financed on an all-equity basis, with rAREH and DI Frontier Market Energy & Carbon Fund each providing 50% of the funding.

Following a 2-year development phase, Rwaza I was officially handed over by the contractor on 30 November 2018. In answer to a request by the Rwandan government to compensate a shortfall in available power generation capacity in the country, the plant first started feeding electricity into the Rwandan grid upon the completion of the transmission line in September 2018. 

rAREH Managing Director Joseph Nganga said: “The start of operation at Rwaza opens a new chapter in our company history by taking rAREH from being a financer and developer of renewable power plants to becoming an energy company active across all stages of development including the owning of operating of power plants. Our 17-strong team is currently working on 15 projects representing a total capacity of 286 MW and we look forward to expanding our portfolio of operational assets in the years to come.” 

Contact Stacy Fiehler responsAbility Investments AG +41 44 403 06 86 stacy.fiehler@responsAbility.com

About responsAbility Renewable Energy Holding (rAREH)

rAREH is a renewable energy company focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa. Headquartered in Nairobi, the company finances, develops, owns and operates renewable energy projects of up to 50 MW across the various stages of development. The rAREH portfolio currently includes 1 operational hydro power plant which accounts for 2.7 MW. The team of 17 experienced investment professionals, developers, engineers and E&S specialists is furthermore constructing two more plants and developing a 286 MW pipeline. 

rAREH was established in 2013 via the support of two German Ministries – the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) – both investing via the German Development Bank (KfW). The investor base today includes the Norwegian investment fund for developing countries, Norfund and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF). rAREH is managed by Swiss impact asset manager responsAbility Investments.

A leading asset manager for impact investments in emerging economies, responsAbility manages USD 3 billion of assets through a range of investment vehicles that provide private debt and private equity to some 540 companies with inclusive business models across 90 countries. Founded in 2003, the company is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, and has local offices in Bangkok, Geneva, Hong Kong, Lima, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Nairobi, Oslo and Paris.

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