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Methane Extraction could Significantly Contribute to Rwanda’s Electrification

The Rwandan government plans to reach an electrification rate of 100% by 2024. KivuWatt power plant – run by Contour Global – already extracts methane to generate electricity. The first phase already generates 26 MW of electricity. It will reach 100 MW in the second phase. A public-private partnership – between Shema Power Lake Kivu Limited, formerly Symbion Energy, and the Rwandan Government – has a project to build a plant to provide 56 MW and to upgrade a pilot plant from the current 3.6 MW to 25 MW. Another locally registered company, Gasmeth will start the construction of a gas extraction facility in 2020. The goal is to generate and sell compressed natural gas in bottles. Currently, 45km3 of methane are economically viable for extraction, which could generate as much as 500 MW of electricity over 50 years. But the electricity produced is highly dependent on the technology and the achieved efficiency.