Draka manages fiber infrastructure project for Rwanda's nationwide energy network

NOVEMBER 11, 2009 -- The optical fiber and cabling company deploys fiber cables along electricity transmission and distribution lines to link all power plants and substations throughout the country.

NOVEMBER 11, 2009 -- Draka Communications, a global provider of optical fiber and cabling, is in the deployment phase of a nationwide fiber-optic infrastructure throughout the Republic of Rwanda. The implementation entails running fiber-optic cables along electricity transmission and distribution lines to link all the power plants, substations, and town offices of Rwanda's public power company, including the National Control Centre in the country's capital Kigali. Draka's fiber infrastructure will also interconnect an advanced management system for the country's high- and medium-voltage electrical grid.

The project is the result of an agreement signed last year between Draka and Electrogaz, Rwanda's public power company, together with Mininfra, Rwanda's Ministry of Infrastructure, and Minecofin, its Ministry of Economic Planning and Finance. The deployment of this advanced infrastructure, expected to span an estimated 24 months, is partially funded by a grant from the Dutch foreign aid programme ORET (Development-Related Export Transactions Program), and partially by the Government of Rwanda.

"For this major turnkey project, Draka is supplying fiber-optic cables and services including the initial survey, engineering, training, technical assistance, project management, procurement, construction, commissioning, integration, and final acceptance of the fiber transmission and SCADA/EM System," explains Mischa Vos, Draka's product line director, connectivity and services.

SCADA is a supervisory control and data acquisition system that gathers data from remote sites, in this case from the electricity network, power generators, and stations. The data is sent over fiber to a control center where the energy management system (EMS) is located. SCADA and EMS also control the distant stations through the fiber-optic network and energy management system. The new fiber infrastructure will allow Electrogaz to manage its high- and medium-voltage grid, improving delivery services and bringing direct benefits to customers all over the country as well as strengthening Rwanda's national fiber backbone.

An additional spin-off is that the new network will provide higher broadband nationwide and allow connection to neighboring countries in future projects, as well as to the submarine cable backbone that is being installed in Eastern Africa.

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