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By Jean Pierre Afadhali
The Kigali Water Ltd has received $60 million from the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) and the Africa Development Bank to build a large-scale water treatment plant on river Nyabarongo on the outskirts of Kigali.
The proposed plant will increase the availability of clean, safe water in Kigali and its surroundings.
The financing process, which started in 2015, was announced last week by EAIF — the mandated lead arranger for funds — and the African Development Bank.
The Kanzenze water treatment plant is said to be the first private-public partnership bulk water supply project in sub-Saharan Africa.
According to a statement by EAIF, Kigali Water Ltd — a locally registered subsidiary of Metico, which is a global water infrastructure firm headquartered in United Arabic Emirates — got $19 million of senior debt and $2.6 million of junior debt, while the African Development Bank is providing another $19 million of senior debt.
The lenders will fund $40.6 million of the capital cost of the $60.8 million project, which is expected to serve 500,000 people. The balance will be provided as equity finance by Metito.
The private-public partnership was first unveiled in Kigali in 2015 after an agreement between The Water and Sanitation Corporation, Rwanda Development Board, Ministry of Infrastructure and Metico.
According to EAIF, the large-scale water plant is expected to help supply growing water demand in Kigali and its surrounding as it will process 40 million litres of fresh, clean water per day.
The government had set a target of 100 percent water access by 2017/2018. According to data from the Rwanda Utility Regulatory Agency, water access currently stands at 86 percent.
The site for the upcoming facility is in Kanzenze sector, south of Kigali. Water will be drawn from the Nyaborongo River for treatment before distribution to domestic, commercial and industrial customers.
According to the financing’s agreement, “Kigali Water Ltd will design, build, maintain and operate the treatment plant and sell potable water to the Water and Sanitation Corporation of Rwanda under a 27-year private-public partnership agreement.”
The timelines for plant construction had not been announced by press time. The project is expected to take about two years to complete.