Mar 13, 2017

New power plant to bring electricity to Rwanda

Nell Walker
2 min
A deal has closed to finance an 80 megawatt peat-to-power project in Rwanda that will improve access to electricity for 75 percent of the country’s...

A deal has closed to finance an 80 megawatt peat-to-power project in Rwanda that will improve access to electricity for 75 percent of the country’s off-grid population.

$350 million is being poured into the power plant; it will increase installed capacity in Rwanda by 40 percent and utilise significant local peat reserves. Just one quarter of the Rwandan population has access to reliable electricity despite it being one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies.

The plant is being constructed in the Mamba Sector of Gisagara District, one of the most remote areas in the country, and is set to be completed within three years. The Africa Finance Corporation is the Mandated Lead Arranger for the project debt, and has successfully arranged total senior debt facilities of US$245 million, contributing US$75 million in loans and providing an underwriting commitment of US$35 million.

Andrew Alli, CEO of AFC, commented on the announcement: “The move from costly external imports of fuel to more sustainable indigenous sources of energy such as peat will reap great rewards for Rwanda, not just in terms of the significant savings in foreign exchange hitherto used in importing expensive diesel oil for power generation, but also the positive economic and social benefits of providing more cost effective power for businesses and industries, as well as more affordable power for the people.

“AFC prioritises investing in projects that will have significant advantages for the local community, which this plant will. It will also make a huge contribution to powering Rwanda’s economic growth in the future, in line with the government’s objectives.”

Rwanda aims to provide 70 percent of its 12 million people with power from the grid or off-grid by 2018, and the country intends to become a lower middle-income country by 2020.

 

Read the March 2017 edition of Energy Digital magazine

Follow @EnergyDigital

Share article

Apr 23, 2021

Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition

Drax
Biomass
Sustainability
BECCS
Dominic Ellis
2 min
Drax is advancing biomass following Pinnacle acquisition it reported in a trading update

Drax' recently completed acquisition of Pinnacle more than doubles its sustainable biomass production capacity and significantly reduces its cost of production, it reported in a trading update.

The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.

The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).

Drax CEO Will Gardiner said its Q1 performance had been "robust", supported by the sale of Drax Generation Enterprise, which holds four CCGT power stations, to VPI Generation.

This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.

In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.

The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.

Share article