KIGALI - The State Minister for Energy and Water, Eng. Coletha Ruhamya, said that the exploration of geothermal energy is in progress.
“Geothermal exploration is on track and the drilling is expected to start in August this year,” said the minister during an interview with The New Times.
Ruhamya stressed that a pilot plant that will produce 10 Megawatts is likely to be completed by December 2012.
An electricity master plan indicates Geothermal energy is expected to contribute over 300 MW to the national grid by 2017, and could contribute about 50% of the energy requirements by 2020.
She explained that exploration wells will be drilled to prove the availability of the resource and steam.
The effort will lower risks and help to determine the exact size of the resources and therefore attract private sector participation in geothermal development.
The Ministry of Infrastructure has identified the southern slopes of Karisimbi as the highest potential area for exploration.
Last year, during a geothermal training workshop on policy development and harmonization, Ruhamya told delegates that, for the entire project to be a success, it needed at least $900 million.
She had said then that they expect the money to come from the government and private sector.