Last Sunday, Rwanda entered a groundbreaking agreement with two international firms Eco-fuels Global LLC, from the United States and Eco Positive Ltd from the UK.
The two firms will invest $250 million to grow Jatropha Curcas on 10,000 hectares of land provided by the Government of Rwanda. The Jatropha seeds are processed into oil which in turn is converted to create bio-fuel.
The substance is then blended with petroleum diesel to create biodiesel which can be used in engines.
On completion, the project will be able to produce 20 million litres of bio-diesel annually.
With growing unpredictability of global fuel prices, the signing of such a project brings hope to many.
Firstly, Rwandans can take heart with the real possibility that in future, this nation will generate adequate reserves of diesel to run our vehicles and some of our heavy industries.
Secondly, there are accruing benefits that come along with such a massive project. It is expected to generate some 6,500 jobs, increase the country’s energy security and considerably reduce the cost of fuel.
Indeed this would be a welcome development given that the project is also environmentally friendly. It is a renewable energy initiative, which augurs well for the global shift and the campaign calling for adoption of more environmentally friendly projects that bear no consequences to climate change.
As we look forward to this project taking off, we can also hope that an equally important project, the Methane gas, will soon become a reality for Rwandans.