Rubavu seeks priority in methane gas project

RUBAVU - Residents of Rubavu District wants priority once the country starts to benefit from methane gas extraction.They were speaking during a meeting, attended by officials from the Ministry of Infrastructure, which was called to allay fears of a possible gas explosion.They point out the fact that their district experiences constant power outages and that it hosts part of the project.
The Methane Gas Plant on Lake Kivu.  Rubavu residents want to be prime beneficiaries. The New Times / File.
The Methane Gas Plant on Lake Kivu. Rubavu residents want to be prime beneficiaries. The New Times / File.

RUBAVU - Residents of Rubavu District wants priority once the country starts to benefit from methane gas extraction.

They were speaking during a meeting, attended by officials from the Ministry of Infrastructure, which was called to allay fears of a possible gas explosion.

They point out the fact that their district experiences constant power outages and that it hosts part of the project.

“In Gisenyi (Rubavu municipal centre) we have unreliable power supply and a shortage of piped water, but that should not be the case once the country starts to generate power from Lake Kivu,” said Jean Pierre Gafuta, a
resident.

He urged the government to expedite the methane project so as to check power shortages.

The pilot phase of the project contributes a paltry two megawatts to the national grid to supplement hydro energy, far below the projected capacity of 700 MW.

However, plans are underway to see Kivu methane project produce 100 MW in the near future, with the Israel-Africa investor planning to generate 50 MW. The other half will be generated by Rwanda Energy Company.

Residents complained about high power tariffs, especially the
monthly compulsory charges even when the power consumed is pre-paid.

“The government should generate more energy which is expected to help bring down tariffs and eliminate unnecessary monthly charges,” observed Jean Kazingufu, another resident.

Government officials at the function explained that it was difficult for the explosion to happen in the lake since the extraction process is already ongoing.

“People should not worry about a possible explosion because such an incident can only happen after 100 years in the event that the gas has not been extracted; yet, in our case, the process is underway to extract it to reduce gas pressure,” said Augusta Umutoni, an official in the Ministry of Infrastructure in charge of L. Kivu monitoring.

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