RUBAVU - World Bank (WB) Group president, Robert B Zoellick, yesterday crossed by road from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to Rwanda and was received by senior government officials led by Finance Minister James Musoni.
On arrival, Zoellick paid a visit to the Methane Gas project based in Rubavu where he promised full support to increase the country’s energy production.
4.5 MGW of electricity is currently being generated from the abundant methane gaz in Lake Kivu by a local company Rwanda Energy Company (REC).
“I am impressed and support Presidents Kagame and Kabila’s agreement to jointly exploit the gas in Kivu, and we shall continue to support Rwanda’s initiative of providing power in the country,” Zoellik told reporters shortly after visiting the plant.
During his tour the WB boss said that the Group will continue to provide its support to the project through the International Finance Cooperation to exploit 500MW for fifty years as proposed by the government.
“The support will help Rwanda which has only 6-7% of its population accessing electricity, to avail necessary electricity that will help women and children enjoy good life,” Zoellik added.
According to Musoni, WB has been supporting the government in the energy sector through IFC and direct budget support and that more support may come through Global Environmental Facility (GEF).
”He has promised support through GEF, because this gas may pose an environmental hazard if not exploited,” Musoni said.
Musoni added that, Zoeliik will be meeting President Paul Kagame today and visit agricultural projects and getting Rwanda’s views on the global credit crunch.
Meanwhile, the State Minister for Energy Dr Albert Butare clarified on the recent media reports that Rwanda and DRC world jointly exploit the methane with Burundi, saying that this was not the case.
“Our meeting with Burundi will be under the framework of CEPGL, they are not going to be part of the exploitation project. They may only take advantage from the project by buying cleaner energy, and that is if we get surplus,” said Butare.
Rwanda and DRC, during the recent historical meeting between the Heads of State for both countries, agreed to jointly exploit the rare gas.