The Rwandan government has signed a USD 400 Mn deal with Gasmeth Energy Limited to produce bottled methane gas from Lake Kivu.
Following the signing of the seven-year-deal, the locally registered company is expected to finance the construction and maintenance of a gas extraction plant. The company will then extract the toxic gas from the lake’s deep floor and bottle it for fuel use.
Rwanda Development Board through its Chief Executive Clare Akamanzi said that the bottled methane would go along way in helping minimise the reliance on wood and charcoal. The two forms of fuel are most commonly used in the East African region.
“We expect to have affordable gas which is environmentally friendly,” Clare stated adding that it is part of their green agenda to ensure they provide an alternative form of fuel to reduce overreliance on wood and charcoal.
Gasmeth Energy will extract methane gas then separate it from water and thereafter transfer it to the plant where it will be compressed. The gas will later be distributed to both local and international markets. The cost of the gas is yet to be determined.
The ‘Killer lake’ as popularly referred to contains carbon dioxide and methane which is explosive when combined with air. The two gases are formed as a result of lake water interaction with a volcano. The lake lies a volcanic region, and over time, bacteria have converted dead organic matter and magma related carbon dioxide into methane.
According to a report published by the Rwandan government, the project aims to generate employment for between 600-800 people during the construction phase. The Gasmeth Energy project will have 400 employees after construction.
Feature Image Courtesy: Cleanleap