BUJUMBURA July 28th (ABP) – The Minister of Hydraulics, Energy and Mines, Mr. Ibrahim Uwizeye and the Ambassador Delegate of the European Union, Claude Bochu proceeded, on Tuesday July 26, to the laying of the first stone at the Gakungwe hill in Kabezi commune, Bujumbura province, marking the official launch of the construction works of the posts and lines associated with the hydroelectric developments of Jiji and Murembwe, a check on the site by ABP has revealed.
In his welcoming address, the chief of staff of the governor of Bujumbura, Mr. Dieudonné Bizimana appreciated that this province was chosen to host these posts and lines. It is an added value because, with electricity, the population will grow.
He said that the town lacks drinking water and asked REGIDESO to provide this town with this water because urbanization has reached this locality.
Mr. Bizimana pleaded for the people who will be affected by the expropriation for public utility to be compensated at fair value.
In his speech, the Ambassador of the European Union said he was satisfied to be in Kabezi to witness the laying of the foundation stone for the construction of lines and substations within the framework of the Jiji and Murembwe project.
He said that since Rwegura in 1986, there had been no major hydroelectric power plant construction projects, and therefore this project is highly “awaited”. Jiji-Murembwe, he continued, is a major strategic infrastructure project, which combines the efforts of the government, REGIDESO, donations from the European Commission, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, as well than a loan from the European Investment Bank and the Bank of Europe.
The expected impact of the Jiji-Murembwe project, with its additional 49 MW, will be transformative for the economy and society in terms of energy (236GWh/year), with more than 200,000 new connections to the network, in terms of protection environment (60 tons of CO2 avoided per year) or in terms of jobs created or income generated, transfer of skills, added Ambassador Bochu. He also stressed that Jiji-Murembwe will stimulate and support development in fields as varied as agro-food, minerals, tourism and hotels, health and education.
This diplomat revealed in passing that all direct European funding (from EU member countries, including Switzerland) in the energy sector in Burundi or in favor of regional projects from which Burundi benefits, amounts to more than 270 million euros including the future universal access to electricity program.
Ambassador Bochu urged the companies in charge of carrying out the works to carry them out according to the rules of the art, respecting the deadlines and the allocated budgets.
He said that the donors are counting on the three companies concerned, namely the consulting engineer AECOM, the incumbents KEC and VINCI energy, they are counting on their technicality, their ability to respect the contracts signed with the government.
All the partners expect the highest level of performance from them, as well as sustainable and quality infrastructures.
The minister responsible for energy recalled that the government of Burundi has made energy a main political priority with the objectives of accelerating access to electricity, facilitating private investment in production and encouraging regional integration adding that these objectives include the acceleration of the construction of national and regional hydroelectric projects.\
The Jiji-Murembwe hydroelectric project is large-scale, indicated Minister Uwizeye and is financed to the tune of $270.4 million by the aforementioned donors, while the contracts for the construction of substations and lines associated with the hydroelectric developments of Jiji-Murembwe Murembwe are financed by the EU and the WB.
He thanked the development partners and asked them to always remain by their side to bring Burundi to achieve the objectives set in the National Development Plan (PND).
He noted with satisfaction that the preliminary works are going well at the Kabezi substation, on other sites and on the lines.
He recommended that REGIDESO closely monitor the implementation work of the Jiji-Murembwe project and that the consulting engineer be doubly vigilant as the volume of work intensifies and the government of Burundi expects REGIDESO and the consulting engineer a rigorous control he hammered.
Moreover, he reassured the population that will be affected by the expropriation, that the government will spare no effort to ensure that Burundian legislation and the principles of the partners are applied in terms of compensation.