Regional energy ministers meet to push ahead key projects

RUBAVU - Ministers with energy in their portfolios from Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC, yesterday, met in Rubavu to assess the current progress regarding sharing and extraction of methane gas in Lake Kivu.The ministers also met to put a final seal on regional power inter-connectivity projects.
Methane gas processing machine that generate power which is channeled to national energy grid. (File Photo)
Methane gas processing machine that generate power which is channeled to national energy grid. (File Photo)

RUBAVU - Ministers with energy in their portfolios from Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC, yesterday, met in Rubavu to assess the current progress regarding sharing and extraction of methane gas in Lake Kivu.The ministers also met to put a final seal on regional power inter-connectivity projects.

Speaking to The New Times, yesterday evening, before the meeting started, State Minister for Energy, Dr. Albert Butare said Rwanda and DRC would be discussing the modalities of shared projects.

“We will be looking at the mechanisms and modalities of the 200megawatts extraction between Rwanda and DRC and also look at the techniques and the financing of the project,” Butare said. 

Recently the two countries agreed to have a joint extraction of methane gas from Lake Kivu which is shared by both Rwanda and the DRC.

Both sides have held a series of meetings before and during the most recent, in Kigali, a concept note outlining key features of the joint power-generation project was prepared by technical teams from both countries.

It is along this line that that the ministers are meeting to put a final seal on the deal.

Once finalized, Rwanda’s share of the project – 100mw – will be a massive boost to the country’s electrification roll-out target of 16 percent (350,000 connections) by 2012.

Rwanda’s current peak capacity of 61mw only satisfies six percent of the population– about 110,000 total connections.
Meanwhile, the Ministers charged with energy from the three countries will also be expected to hold talks on the rehabilitation of Rusuzi II hydropower plant.

According to Butare, some of the machines of the plant are not functioning now and that ministers will be looking at how best the plant can be revamped

“The rehabilitation process will be funded by FMO- an entrepreneurial development bank of the Netherlands at a cost of about US18million,” said Butare.

He added that during the meeting ministers will talk about regional power interconnectivity projects between Rwanda-DRC, Rwanda-Burundi, Rwanda-Tanzania and Rwanda-Uganda.

Also a Joint regulatory team is set to be established at the meeting; the team will be charged with monitoring, regulating and making follow-up on several projects within Lake Kivu to ensure that gas extractors adhere to well established guidelines, rules and regulations.

Ends

 

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