Delays in the extraction of methane gas from Lake Kivu originated from environmental and safety challenges which have been solved and Kivuwatt will begin delivering electricity next year, the firm says.
The announcement comes after the government recently announced it would review ContourGlobal Kivuwatt Ltd’s 2009 contract worth $325 million because the project had delayed.
In a press statement released yesterday, Kivuwatt’s Rwanda office announced that: “KivuWatt expects to deliver electricity from the project to RECO next year”.
RECO is the Rwanda Electricity Corporation, through which all electricity on the national grid is distributed.
“We have worked hard to solve these issues together with the Government and have finally managed to convince all stakeholders, more importantly, the financing partners, that the project is not going to endanger the lake’s stability and the extraction is done in a sustainable way,” Jarmo Gummerus, the Country Manager said.
“In that respect the matters affecting the progress of the project have now been eliminated and we can move forward to the actual implementation. As a practical proof of this, AfDB was the first to approve our project by granting 25 million dollars for it”.
Colletha Ruhamya, the Minister of State in charge of Energy and Water, said that the government would like to have a clear implementation plan.
“Our agreement after extension is to feed in the initial 25MW by January 2012, so let’s hope they will make it,” Ruhamya said, yesterday.
“Of course the project will continue, but we want to have a clear implementation plan so that we can easily monitor the project. This is not only for the 1st 25MW phase but also the 2nd (75MW). So we need a clear road map for the project and we have requested CG to provide it.”
The integrated gas extraction and electricity generation facility on Lake Kivu, the first of its kind, was to provide 100 MW of natural gas-fired electricity to the national grid.
Apart from power generation, it is hoped that extracting the gas could mitigate the environmental hazards associated with a natural release of the lake gasses and provide an environmentally friendly and sustainable source of energy.