Rwanda’s new airport in Bugesera district will be connected to regional Rusumo hydroelectric power plant slated to be inaugurated by the end of 2023.

The move aims to ensure stable power supply to the new airport under construction.

Patricie Uwase, the Minister of State at the Ministry of Infrastructure unveiled the plan on Wednesday before senators.

The power plant is expected to supply 80 MW which will be shared by Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi.

It is set to generate power using water from the Akagera River that straddles the three countries.

The $340 million project is one of the investment programmes under the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) with a mandate to facilitate jointly agreed transformative regional trans-boundary cooperative projects, or in-country projects with regional impact, related to the common use of the Nile Basin water resources.

Rwanda has to get an additional 27 MW of electricity to be supplied to the national grid.

She said there are also plans to make the airport green.

“So many things will be done to make the airport green. First, it will be green because it will use renewable energy from the new Rusumo hydroelectric power plant. There will also be an intelligent system in terms of electricity use at the airport.

We have to install equipment that efficiently uses electricity. This means, for example, if there is equipment that can use 15 megawatts, they can be replaced by those consuming two megawatts. This will ensure energy efficiency,” she explained.

She said the lights, at the airport, should be sensitive so that they switch off themselves when there are no people.

The greening of the airport will showcase the government commitment to the implementation of Green Building Minimum Compliance System (GBMCS) which is part of Rwanda’s National Building Code.

The airport greening comprises energy saving, water conservation, waste management and material efficiency, indoor environmental quality and green transportation within the airport among others.

Under the ongoing works, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certification was considered.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a green building certification program used worldwide.

It includes a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes, and neighbourhoods, which aims to help building owners and operators be environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently.

As of 2023 there were over 105,000 LEED-certified buildings.

Construction works on the proposed international airport in Bugesera district have gained momentum and there is optimism that it could be completed by 2026.

With an estimated $2 billion worth of investment, the airport’s developers say that the facility could potentially help Africa’s aviation industry take off.

The new facility, according to developers, will boast a 130,000-square-meter main terminal building capable of accommodating 8 million passengers a year.

The figure is expected to rise to over 14 million passengers in the following decades.

The facility will also see a dedicated cargo terminal, capable of accommodating 150,000 tons of cargo a year.

Qatar Airways will have a 60 percent ownership of the new airport as well as acquire 49 percent of shares in the national carrier, Rwandair.


SOURCE: NewsTime

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