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China-backed power station project in Burundi breaks ground

Updated: 2019-09-25

The China-aided Ruzibazi hydropower station project - located in the Republic of Burundi in east central Africa - will expand overall bilateral relations between the two countries, Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza said on Sept 20.

President Nkurunziza made his remarks during the on-site groundbreaking ceremony for the project, which is located in the Burundi province of Rumonge.

China-backed power station project in Burundi breaks ground

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza attends the groundbreaking ceremony on Sept 20 for the China-funded Ruzibazi hydropower station project located in Burundi’s Rumonge province. [Photo/POWERCHINA]

The project, the largest China-funded project in Burundi to date, involves the construction of a hydropower station with an installed capacity of 15 megawatts.

President Nkurunziza extended his congratulations to the Chinese people on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

"China has always demonstrated that it is a privileged and credible partner for the world in general and for Burundi in particular," he added.

China-backed power station project in Burundi breaks ground

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza is interviewed by a journalist from Xinhua News Agency on Sept 20. [Photo/POWERCHINA]

Once built, the Ruzibazi power station will account for the lion's share of total installed electricity capacity in Burundi and is very important to the country's future development, Burundi's Energy Minister Come Manirakiza told the ceremony.

Burundi and China have conducted a great deal of cooperation in the energy sector, he added, adding that the bilateral economic cooperation was expected to yield more fruit.

China-backed power station project in Burundi breaks ground

Local residents proudly give a performance on the drums at the ceremony. [Photo/POWERCHINA]

Chinese Ambassador to Burundi Li Changlin said the power station would meet the needs of Burundi for power generation and future development, adding that China has joined in Burundi's construction in the agricultural, education and health sectors. Relations between China and Burundi are as good as the always have been and China stands ready to step up to the plate in terms of assistance to Burundi, Li added.

The Ruzibazi hydropower station project was started on Oct 15, 2018 and is expected to be completed in March 2022.