Rwanda, DRC in renewed 'safe' methane gas extraction efforts

Saturday March 14 2020

Kivu

Rwanda and DRC have signed a joint agreement to ensure safe and environmentally friendly extraction of methane gas from Lake Kivu, to safeguard citizens and marine life. Photo | Cyril NDEGEYA  

MOSES K. GAHIGI
By MOSES K. GAHIGI
More by this Author

Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo have signed a joint agreement to ensure safe and environmentally friendly extraction of methane gas from Lake Kivu In 2015, the two countries signed a deal to jointly extract methane gas from Lake Kivu to generate energy to be added into their national grids, but implementation has been slow.

Assurance on safe extraction has been one of the reasons why the projects have stalled especially on the DRC side, which is yet to expedite any methane gas extraction.

The validation act of the contract of the Review of the Management Prescriptions for the development of Lake Kivu Methane gas resources, which was signed by the two countries, is expected to speed extraction work on both sides.

Rwanda already has ongoing methane gas extraction projects in Contour Global’s Kivuwatt, which is producing up to 26 megawatts it sells to government, while another company Shema Power Lake Kivu signed with government to produce 55MW of methane gas.

"We will learn from Rwanda, but we want this to be implemented immediately because we have already signed the agreements. We should work on this immediately because there is a lot to gain and to protect in Lake Kivu," said Rubens Mikindo Muhima, state minister in charge of Hydrocarbons in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The meeting between both countries looked at the potential for the Lake to generate electricity and reduce the risk of gas explosion by preserving the stability of the different layers of Lake Kivu, thereby boosting economic growth for both countries.

Advertisement

The two countries also noted that the management prescriptions as rules for research, exploration and monitoring safe exploitation of Lake Kivu gas resources.

Advertisement