On Friday the Government of Rwanda represented by the Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board (RMB), and the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) signed a deal with Gasmeth Energy Limited that will see the latter extract and process methane gas from Lake Kivu.
Gasmeth Energy Limited was represented by CEO Stephen Tierney at the signing ceremony.
Gasmeth Energy plans to finance, construct and maintain a gas extraction, processing and compression project.
The project will include a gas extraction plant on Lake Kivu, where Gasmeth Energy will extract and separate methane gas from water and thereafter transport it to an onshore plant where they will compress it.
The compressed natural gas will be distributed on both the local and international market.
The over USD $400 million project aims to generate employment for between 600-800 people during the construction phase. The Gasmeth Energy project will have 400 employees after construction.
The RDB Chief Executive Officer, Clare Akamanzi, said that, “Natural gas is the most environmentally friendly fossil fuel. The natural gas produced by the plant will help reduce the use of wood and charcoal as a cooking fuel as well as diesel fuel in the automotive industry.
The deep water of Lake Kivu contains dissolved methane and carbon dioxide.
These gases pose a serious risk to all the oxygen dependent life in the vicinity of the lake as they continue to build up.
However, methane gas also provides an energy resource valued at billions of dollars for the Kivu region.
We therefore welcome the Gasmeth Energy project because not only will it reduce the risk of a methane gas explosion, it will also provide jobs, reduce Rwanda’s natural gas import bill, increase gas exports and provide cleaner cooking fuel for Rwandans”, she said.