Tunis, 7 February 2010 - The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved on Thursday, 3 February 2011 in Tunis, a USD 25-million senior private sector loan to finance the KivuWatt project in Rwanda. This project has been developed by ContourGlobal, a global power and energy company headquartered in New York. Along with a consortium of development finance partners, AfDB will finance the first large scale private sector investment in power generation in Rwanda.
The project comprises Phase I of the KivuWatt project, an integrated-methane gas extraction and power production facility. It involves gas extraction using a floating barge located approximately 12.5 km offshore from the city of Kibuye. The extracted gas will be processed and pumped ashore for use in a power plant via a submerged floating pipeline. Power will be produced by methane-powered reciprocating engine generator sets with a combined 25 MW net output. Phase II includes expansion of the facilities designed in Phase I and will produce an additional 75 MW of power.
The KivuWatt project creates a low cost energy solution, which will help Rwanda meet its domestic energy requirements while reducing reliance on expensive imports from neighboring countries or high cost emergency diesel generation. Reducing the cost of doing business due to lower energy costs will have longer-term consequences on competitiveness and enterprise development by creating a better private sector enabling environment. It is anticipated that at least 250 jobs will be created during construction, of which approximately 200 will be local employment.
This project is in line with the AfDB’s Rwanda Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy, which aims to reduce electricity production cost and diversify Rwanda’s sources of electricity generation, focusing on indigenous resources, including Lake Kivu’s methane gas, hydro, and geothermal energy.