19 November 2008 – The methane gas reservoirs at Rwanda’s Lake Kivu are being utilised to generate 2MW of power reports from the Central African country say.
54% of the Rwandan electricity being generated by fossil fuels, and the remainder by hydropower. Methane gas reserves however, could produce as much as 350MW over time in Rwanda and a similar amount in the DRC (which owns half the gas reserves).
"Right now, out of the 4.5 megawatts capacity of the power plant, we are getting roughly two megawatts on the grid," said Charles Nyirahuku, oil and gas head of the Ministry of Infrastructure.
The plant, which cost Euro 12 million to build, uses methane gas which is a by product of the water degassing process from the bottom of Lake Kuivu.
According to Nyirahuku, "We are targeting to increase from the current 62 MW in 2008 up to 150 MW at the end of 2012."
He further revealed that ContourGlobal, an US based company, planned to develop a 100MW of power over the next three or four years, with an estimated cost of some US$300 million.
Another concession, a partnership with Rwanda, the Rwandan Investment Group and Kenya’s Industrial Promotion Services, planned another 100MW, although this capacity was still in the early planning stages.