Rwanda is targeting to reap US$ 25 billion (approximately Rwf12.5 trillion) in the next 50 years in the ongoing methane gas project in Lake Kivu if all the 60bn cubic metres of methane banked on the lake sea bed is extracted.
Dr. Natacha Tofield Pasche, an expert in limnology said the extraction of methane is a double achievement for the government as it would reduce the methane threats and also provide energy for economic growth.
“We will reduce the dangerous risks of methane and we also expect US$25 billion…,” she said, while explaining the achievements of the Kivu monitoring project that was instituted to carry out an impact assessment of the methane gas project.
The assessment that has approved the extraction also looked at resource management, lake stability, effects of re-injected water, basic principles and mandatory requirements of extraction.
“A group of five experts that did analysis found out that there is no problem with extraction.”
Ange Mugisha, an expert with Kivu monitoring project, said the team has carried out 54 campaigns at KPI, baseline campaigns on REC, Kivuwatt and carried out CTD profile of the biozone.
The Director General of Electricity Energy Water and Sanitation Agency (EWSA), Charles Kanyamihigo, said that the methane power plant currently contributes 2 megawatts to the national grid.
“National demand is currently 67mw, the Gas power plant is contributing around 2.6 percent to the national demand,” he added.
Natacha ruled out the fears that the lake would explode due to the accumulated methane that is inserting much pressure on the water volume.
“Now that we are extracting methane we will reduce the pressure,” she said.
Currently, the saturation pressure stands at 55 percent and for methane to explode, it requires 100 percent saturation pressure, an enormous pressure to put water at 150 metres.