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Rwanda’s government is negotiating with an Israeli firm to lease its pilot methane plant on Lake Kivu in western Rwanda in an effort to increase the plant's electricity production capacity.
The facility is currently generating 2 megawatts of electricity, half of its installed capacity of 4 megawatts because of technology bottlenecks. When Israel Africa Energy Limited takes over operation of the plant, Rwandan officials hope eventually to increase the facility’s output to 50 megawatts, Uganda’s East African Business Week reported.
Rwandan Minister of Infrastructure Albert Nsengiyumva says that the privatization discussions regarding the Kibuye Power methane plant, also known as KP1 are still ongoing, adding that he hoped that a deal would be sealed “very soon.”
Three years ago KP1 began filtering methane gas and converting it into electricity to prove that it was possible to separate methane gas from water and use it to generate electricity. The methane gas reserves in Lake Kivu are estimated at 60 billion cubic meters but research has concluded that only 40 billion are currently extractable.
U.S. firm CoutourGlobal has a $325 million gas-to-power agreement with the Rwandan government to construct a platform on which gas-filtering equipment will be installed in Kibuye on Lake Kivu.
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com