Exclusive interview with Paul Hinks, CEO of Symbion Power, returning diamond sponsor of the iPAD Rwanda Power & Infrastructure Investment Forum in Kigali.
1. What is the latest update on the Lake Kivu project?
Symbion is currently finalizing the Power Purchase and Concession Agreements with the government of Rwanda. We are hoping to soon sign our main contracts with the government and then begin the next phase of project implementation. It is important to note that we have been working behind the scenes in terms of preparation so that we can hit the ground running as soon as these main agreements are concluded.
2. Are there any unexpected challenges?
With any project there are always unexpected challenges, so Lake Kivu is no different. However, the unique nature of the lake and the fact that we are one of the first IPPs on the lake makes this a challenging but also exciting project. My team relishes these kinds of opportunities.
Although much of the technology that will be used is standard in the gas and power industries, the methane resource in Lake Kivu is itself unique. The lake also has sensitive environmental considerations, so Symbion is taking great care and attention to ensure our design complies with the Lake Management Prescriptions; safety is always at the forefront of our decision-making process.
3. What will be your message at the event in November?
Symbion is committed to being a long-term partner and delivering electricity to Rwanda and to help de-risk Lake Kivu by safely extracting the gas that continues to build up in its depths.
4. What are you hoping the message from the Rwandan government will be?
Our message to the Rwandan government is the same as the one we had in August 2014 when President Kagame and I committed to each other that this project will go forward: in partnership, Symbion and the government can work together to dramatically increase electricity access throughout the country. We are confident that the Rwandan government sees in Symbion a long-term partner in providing reliable, affordable electricity to help the country continue to grow and develop.