A view of the Kigali Special Economic Zone home to light and heavy duty industries.

Are you an investor and you wanted to start your business in Rwanda and worried about the cost to get new power connections?  Were you budgeting and you felt it would cause headache due to that additional cost? Relax then because Rwanda Energy group (REG) has waived that cost.

Effective January 1, 2019 new connection for big industries will be done free of charge as REG moves to support the government plan to ease doing business in Rwanda.

According to Ron Weiss, REG Chief Executive  Officer (CEO) the waiver new connection costs for all big industries and connect them for free is one of the reforms undertaken by the energy company in a bid to ease doing business in the country.

He said that REG has been performing well over the last two years, moving from 119th positions in the year 2017 to 68th last year in the energy sector in the World Bank’s doing business report released early in October.

The energy sector, he said, was also one of major contributors to the country’s improvement having improved 11 places from 41st to 29th positions in doing business over the same period.

The cost for new connections is Rwf40 millions per kilometre including transformer for those who may set up industries, according to officials.

“We want to continue to improve and we are doing several reforms to be able to offer big clients more better services in order to bring many industries here to have more big clients and to increase the development of the country,” Weiss told The New Times on Friday

He said that several investors who want to do business have various costs including building the factory, hiring employees among others finding it hard to cater for such costs.

“If we can help them with the electricity, I think it can support them a lot and at the end it will enable them to do business. It is a big challenge but I am sure we will succeed,” he noted

For those wishing to get free connections, there is only one condition. ‘Applying for the service online.’

“We have a condition, if someone wants to do this, they have to apply online because this is another service that we put in place that all the applications will be done online,”Weiss said

“The online application will allow us to monitor better when was the application and how much time it took us. With letters it is very difficult but online the information is very much quicker and it is our request for big clients, {apply online and we will give you this service}” he urged

He said that ever since it was announced last week, the energy company had received two applications, one being of a cement factory in Musanze while the other is a cable company operating in Kigali.

Size of electricity required

In electricity size, Weiss said it should be above 100KVA because “These are usually customers we connect with a transformer that are allocated only for them, these are what we call industrial customers,”

Over the past year REG managed to connect over 154000 new customers and the generation grew to over 220MW while the system is very stable that before according to officials.

“We want to focus on better services, if you ask our clients, they are very happy on the response time, if a customer calls us and tells us about having a problem, they get a response very quickly and I think for the big clients we need to give a specific service and that is what we are trying to do,: he said

He said he was optimistic that more clients will come on board and apply adding that currently, REG has been receiving over 50 such big clients per year.