KARONGI - KivuWatt, a subsidiary of Contour Global, a New York based power company, will today launch a methane gas extraction barge in Karongi District, Western Province.
There will also be a signing ceremony of the financing agreement between Contour Global, Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, and the African Development Bank.
“Phase I of the project cost approximately US$142 million and will generate 25 MW. It will be followed by three more phases to total 100 MW,” reads a statement from Energy Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA).
The barge housing the gas extraction facility was completed in July. Finnish-based firm, Wartsila, will manufacture the electricity generating engines and construct the power generating station, also in Karongi.
The EWSA statement adds that; “The project has engaged in extensive environmental studies and permitting activities, all to stringent World Bank standards.”
Contour Global has also received extremely strong support from the international development community and, in addition to financing from the lending institutions noted above, has signed a political risk insurance policy with the Multilateral Investment Guaranty Agency of the World Bank Group.
Meanwhile, a press release from ContourGlobal indicates that the company is committed to making a positive social contribution to the communities in which it does business.
“The KivuWatt project will create about 300 jobs inside Rwanda during the construction phase and expects to enter full commercial service in 2012.
Also, KivuWatt is working with the District of Karongi to design and construct a new bus shelter in the Kiniha Cell, Bwishysura Sector in Karongi District, less than four Kms from the KivuWatt site,” adds the statement.
KivuWatt has also commissioned a year-long fish and plankton study in order to understand Lake Kivu fisheries. The study will ensure that the project does not impact on the fisheries or the livelihoods of the local fishermen who depend on the lake.
The company was formed in 2008 to design, develop and operate integrated methane gas extraction and production facilities and associated power plants located on Lake Kivu in Kibuye, Rwanda.
In 2009, KivuWatt received a 25 year concession from the Republic of Rwanda and entered into a 25 year power purchase agreement with the country’s national utility EWSA with respect to the project.
The project will remove otherwise hazardous methane gas trapped in the waters of Lake Kivu, and process the gas to use as fuel to generate much needed electricity.