Africa’s second peat power plant to begin operation in Rwanda with 40MW by 2021
London, Dec. 30, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Africa’s second peat-fired power plant in Rwanda is to commence operation early year 2012. Already, the company behind a project HQ Power says it will release 40MW into the national grid by March 2021.
Peat, sometimes known as turf is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation or organic matter. For a country with little coal, oil, and gas, peat and other plant matter is a ready fuel for power plants.
Since 2010, Rwandan government started development of peat power plant in Gishoma, Rusizi District, to reduce electricity deficit which the country was facing and to coincide with a significant growth of electricity demand observed in the region as a result of the expansion of the local cement factory and country development
Dominique Gubbini, the General Manager of HQ Power, the power plant located in Mamba in Gisagara District, said that by March 2021, the plant will start releasing 40 megawatts of electricity.
“The 40 megawatts will be produced by part of the plant which is under completion and will be tested next month, and the remaining part we hope will be completed by May,” Gubbini.
Upon completion, the plant will be able to supply 80 megawatts by June 2021. However, 10MW will be retained by the plant to be used in daily operations, while 70MW will be fed into the national grid.
Gubbini also said that the plant will be among those providing the most electricity in Rwanda, compared to other plants, the biggest being Nyabarongo Hydro Power Plant, which is currently the largest and produces 28 megawatts.
The HQ Power peat will also be the largest producer of peat to power electricity in the Eastern African region and the second largest in Africa. The biggest peat-to-power plant is in Senegal and produces more than 1,000 megawatts of electricity.
The plant, whose construction started in 2017, is expected to increase the national power capacity by 40 percent and it will bring more energy independence for Rwanda.
The 80MW Peat-Fired Power Plant was constructed under a Build Operate, Own and Transfer (BOOT) basis with a 26 year of Power Purchase Agreement and will cost $350m upon completion. HQ power will operate the plant for 26 years and then transfer it to the Government of Rwanda.
The project is run by HAKAN AS, a Turkish coal company and investor, together with QUANTUM POWER, an international power company and THEMIS, a project development company, with funding from different development banks.