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BRIEF

Jiji and Mulembwe Hydropower Project

April 22, 2014

Background

  • Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) is suffering from a sustained and chronic power crisis. Only 31 percent of the population has access to electricity, leaving nearly 600 million people without energy access.
  • Electricity in SSA is expensive, and the average power tariff at $0.12/kWh, is two times higher compared to other developing countries.
  • Hydropower is a proven, renewable, large scale and cost-effective source of energy and its low cost of production (around $0.10/kWh) compares favorably with other technologies, including thermal, wind, and solar.
  • Responsible development of hydropower can be a strong contributor to ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity on the African continent by providing cost-effective energy to households and businesses and improving human well-being
Energy Access in Republic of Burundi 

  • The Republic of Burundi is one of the world’s poorest countries, and gross domestic product per capita is US$164
  • Burundi is classified as a fragile, conflict-affected state and has recovered from the decade-long conflict which took place between 1993 and 2003 and resulted in widespread destruction of economic and social infrastructure.
  • Only four percent of Burundians have access to electricity, marking one of the lowest energy access rates in the world.
  • Demand for electricity is spiraling and is expected to grow from 46 megawatts (MW) in 2012 to 92 MW by 2018, reaching a high of 192 MW by 2025.
The Jiji-Mulembwe Hydropower Project

  • The Jiji and Mulembwe Hydropower Project is a run-of-the-river hydropower project that will provide Burundians with affordable, clean, reliable, and sustainable energy.
  • The project will finance construction of two hydropower stations. Combined capacity will reach 48 MW.
    • On the Jiji River, plans are for a 13.5 meter high concrete dam to be built, producing a small 80,000 cubic meter reservoir. 
    • On the Mulembwe River, a 14 meter high concrete dam will be built and the reservoir will hold 40,000 cubic meters of water.
  • The project’s preparation included extensive consultations with local communities.  Once built to world-class environmental and social standards, the Jiji-Mulembwe project will provide Burundians with affordable electricity.
  • Power generated by the Jiji-Mulumbwe Hydropower Project will cost just 10 cents per kilowatt hour, significantly lower than power from other sources, which can cost up to 40 cents per kilowatt hour.