Rwanda needs US$935 million to extract 310MW of electricity from geothermal energy in the next seven years.
State minister in charge of energy, Collette Ruhamya, told Business Times yesterday, that government plans to install geothermal drilling infrastructure by August, this year, in an effort to attract private investment into the project.
“When the drilling is complete, then partners, donors and the private sector will realise the project’s potential and invest in it,” Ruhamya said.
Gisenyi, Karisimbi Volcano and Bugarama have been identified as high geothermal sources, the Ministry said in a statement, adding that a tentative budget of US$30.2 million for drilling three exploration wells was drawn.
Ruhamya said that government will assume the risks involved in the drilling process as a prerogative to attract investors who are, at the moment, reluctant to invest in the project.
The Great Rift Valley, in which Rwanda lies, is identified with strong tectonic activity which offers enormous potential for large-scale geothermal projects with a full capacity estimated at 15,000MW.
Kenya currently leads Africa in geothermal power production with over 210 MW of projects completed.
Rwanda is also considering developing hydropower, methane gas, solar, biogas, and peat, with an ultimate goal of reaching 1,000 MW of production capacity by 2017.