ContourGlobal inaugurates innovative KivuWatt energy facility in Rwanda

  • KivuWatt gas extraction and power generating facility successfully operational since December 2015
  • Operation exceeding expectations and will reach 100 MW by 2019 with 9 additional MW being made available from the existing facility by year end
  • Ground-breaking facility reduces the risk of release of toxic gases and sets Rwanda on the road to double its energy production by 2020

AA – ContourGlobal, the US-based energy corporation, has inaugurated its KivuWatt power plant in Kibuye, Rwanda, on the shores of Lake Kivu, in the presence of Rwanda’s H.E. President Paul Kagame, James Musoni, Minister of Infrastructure and Jean Bosco Mugiraneza, CEO Rwanda Energy Group. ContourGlobal was represented by its President & Chief Executive Officer, Joseph C. Brandt, Karl Schnadt, Executive Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer, Cheick-Oumar Sylla, Executive Vice President Business Development Africa, and Jarmo Gummerus, Director of KivuWatt Ltd. Also in attendance were Ambassadors from the United States of America, the Netherlands, Belgium, China and the European Union, and representatives from Wartsila and other partners in the project.

The KivuWatt project is the only gas/water extraction project currently operating in the world. The innovative project utilizes methane gas found in Lake Kivu’s deep waters to generate low carbon emission electricity, and by reducing the amount of methane in the Lake also reduces the risk of the methane’s catastrophic release.

The world’s leading development banks joined the KivuWatt project in 2011 when the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) and Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) extended debt financing to the project.

Joseph C. Brandt, President and Chief Executive Officer of ContourGlobal said: “In 2008 we entered into a partnership with the Government of Rwanda to transform the menace of Lake Kivu’s unique gas deposits into the source of something good for the people of Rwanda. The hard fought KivuWatt project has realized the Lake’s potential envisioned by President H.E. Paul Kagame. We are proud to have catalyzed his vision into a substantial operating project that is mitigating the threat of environmental catastrophe while providing clean, reliable electricity to Rwanda.”

Karl Schnadt, ContourGlobal’s Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer: “We have successfully brought into operation this unique project and overcome the many challenges posed by this unprecedented attempt at large-scale gas extraction on the lake. Our design and technology are performing even better than expected and we are pleased to announce today that the gas extraction facility will support at least an additional 9 MW of power generation. We are undertaking the works to transform this unexpected gas into additional electricity for Rwanda’s grid by year-end.”

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