President Paul Kagame has launched the KivuWatt power plant which will supply 26 megawatt of electricity to the national grid. The plant, located in Kibuye on the shore of Lake Kivu, was inaugurated on Monday in Karongi district, Western Province.
“I thank whoever participated in the success of this project; the 26 MW electricity is a positive step and it’s an indication of what is possible to address the electricity challenges,” the Head of State said.
Rwanda is focusing on extracting methane gas from Lake Kivu to generate electricity that will expand access to electricity at a lower cost and reduce environmental hazards. To achieve the goals, it granted KivuWatt a concession of 100 MW electricity generation to be implemented in two phases.
The first phase of this project is powering three gas generators to produce 26 MW of electricity to the National grid. The next phase of will see the deployment of nine additional gas generators at 75 MW.
The President addresses participants at the launch of the KivuWatt Methane Gas Power Plant.
The US-based energy corporation ContourGlobal disbursed more than $ 200 million on the first phase of the project including debt financing provided by African Development Bank, government of the United States, Netherlands and Belgium. President Kagame thanked them for their support.
He also extended an invitation to the DR Congo, with which Rwanda shares Lake Kivu.
“To our neighbors and friends, if you wish to put the plant to scale to serve both Rwanda and DRC, you are most welcome. What is important for me is not these plants or their location, but the electricity that is coming from them,” Kagame added.
The construction of the first phase methane-to-power project started on March 2, 2009, with the signing of the Power Purchase Agreement and the Gas Concession Agreement for 100 MW for a period of 25 years between Rwanda Energy Group (REG).
On December 31, 2015 KivuWatt finally entered Commercial Operation phase by providing 26 MW, on the National Grid, according to REG this was higher than expected 25 MW after through commissioning and testing activities.