Burundi Moves Ahead with Mpanda Hydro Scheme

Hydroneo East Africa has invited interest from companies to design and build the project.

By Liz Bains on
8th June 2023

Hydroneo East Africa has kicked off the process to find a contractor to the build the 10MW Mpanda hydroelectric power plant in Burundi, following presidential approval of the long-awaited project in April.

On 28 April, Burundi’s ministers of energy and finance, acting on behalf of the president of the republic, signed a document approving the public-private partnership (PPP) between the government and the project company, Mpanda Hydro Power. Mpanda Hydro Power is wholly owned by France's Hydroneo East Africa.

The PPP contract had been signed nearly two years earlier, on 19 May 2021. A power purchase agreement was also signed with public utility REGIDESO for the project’s output.

Hydroneo East Africa has now invited expressions of interest (EOI) for the contract to design and construct the run-of-river power plant and its evacuation line. 

Interested companies have until 25 July to respond with submissions.

The tender, shared on LinkedIn, is divided into two lots, with the first covering the design and construction of the hydroelectric power station. 

The second covers the design and construction of the interconnection infrastructure, including a 27km, 33kV transmission line between the power station and the Rubirizi substation. Companies can bid for one or both lots.

Interested firms can obtain the EOI documentation, including detailed eligibility criteria, submission guidelines and evaluation criteria, by contacting Hydroneo East Africa at celine.roche@hydroneo.com or faith.kabiru@hydroneo.com

The Mpanda project in Bubanza province originally started out as a government-funded initiative, with construction beginning on earlier designs in 2011. However, works were halted at 20% completion in 2015 due to a funding shortfall.

The project was subsequently handed over to the private sector to redesign as a run-of-river project under a 25-year build-own-operate-transfer concession. The estimated cost of the project is US$43.5 million.

The plant is expected to increase Burundi's power generation capacity by about 10%.

Photo: Mpanda river (Hydroneo East Africa)

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