|Written by BOSCO HITIMANA|
| The feasibility study of the joint exploitation of |
methane gas in Lake Kivu by Rwanda and
Democratic Republic of Congo will be
ready before June next year.
The European Commission (EC) has accepted
to finance the study and the funds should
be availed in two months to start the study,
Rwanda State Minister for Energy,
Dr. Albert Butare said.
The study may cost between $1.5 million and
$2 million, said Butare.
He explained that he held a meeting with
the Congolese energy minister discussing
specifically the joint venture that targets
to generate 200 megawatts of energy
from methane gas.
"We agreed that what is required to facilitate
this project in the first place is to have
a comprehensive study that entails
three major components," Butare said.
The components include financing mechanisms;
the technology to be used when extracting
the gas from the lake and changing it
into electrical power; and the environmental
and social impact assessment of the project.
"With those three components you have
the project as a comprehensive package
which anybody would be ready to come
on board in terms of financing
for implementation," he said.
The ministers are speeding up the project
as requested by President Paul Kagame and
President Joseph Kabila in their recent
historic meeting held in Goma, eastern Congo.
When the study is completed, the ministers
will again sit with donors - European Union,
World Bank, AfDB, The Netherlands,
US Embassy, and
Belgian Cooperation - to discus financing
for the project implementation.
Once the joint extraction is finalized, the
two countries expect to boost power
supply which is a key ingredient
for economic development.
Rwanda will raise the current pick from
69MW to 169 MW once power from
the joint venture is ready.
Currently 6% of the total households in
Rwanda have electricity but the target is
to reach 16% by 2012,
according to government projections.
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