The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved finance totalling US$22m for the construction of two new hydropower plants in Burundi – the bank’s largest investment in the country in the post-war period.

The grant will go towards building the Jiji and Mulembwe hydro power plants, which will have a combined capacity of 48MW, more than doubling the current installed capacity in Burundi of 39MW.

The Jiji and Mulembwe project has three components: first, building the hydroelectric power stations and its associated infrastructure; second, providing technical assistance; and third, supporting the institutional development of the electricity sector. The project, which has total cost of approximately US$270 million, is funded by a consortium of donors active in the energy sector in Burundi, including the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and the European Union. The AfDB grant will co-finance the project’s first component.