Nov 11, 2011
Lake Kivu methane to fuel 25 MW Rwanda power plantBack
New York|Africa|ContourGlobal|Energy|Engines|Gas|KivuWatt|PROJECT|Wärtsilä Power Plants Africa|Africa|Democratic Republic Of Congo|Rwanda|Catastrophic Gas Release|Energy|Equipment|Methane Gas|Power Generation|Power-generation|Substantial Energy Reserves|Lake Kivu|Environmental|Joseph Brandt|Power|Tony Van Velzen
© Reuse this
Indigenous and naturally occurring methane gas from Lake Kivu, in Rwanda, will fuel a turnkey power plant to be built by power generation and services specialist company Wärtsilä.
The plant will be powered by 20-cylinder Wärtsilä 34SG gas-powered engines and have an electrical output of 25 MW. Future planned expansions to this project will increase this output to 100 MW. Delivery of the equipment is scheduled for the first quarter of next year and the plant is expected to be operational in the third quarter.
“Lake Kivu, located on the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, contains high concentrations of naturally occurring methane gas. By tapping this indigenous fuel to generate energy, the need to import energy can be reduced,” the company reports.
Meanwhile, since the natural build-up of the gas is ongoing, it has been predicted in studies that a saturation point will eventually be reached that could lead to a catastrophic gas release. Extraction of the gas, thus, has the potential to mitigate the risks of dangerous eruptions and provide substantial energy reserves. The extraction of gas from the lake, however, is not included within Wärtsilä’s contractual scope, it adds.
Local utility KivuWatt, a subsidiary of the New York-based international power company ContourGlobal, placed the order and, when operational, the power plant will supply electricity to Rwanda’s national utility.
“Gas levels in Lake Kivu need to be reduced to reduce the risks of a spontaneous gas eruption in the future that could have hazardous consequences. Simultaneously, the country urgently needs additional power generation capacity and, by using the lake’s methane gas, both goals are achieved,” says ContourGlobal president and CEO Joseph Brandt.
“This is a landmark project and one that has the potential for huge environmental and economic implications. Smart power generation, using the most readily available fuel, in this case methane gas, is a key element in meeting future energy needs,” says Wärtsilä Power Plants Africa regional director Tony van Velzen.
Two smaller power plants already operate using the lake’s methane gas for fuel, the com- pany concludes.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other News This Week News
Updated 13 minutes ago July new vehicle sales declined by 1.5%, to 57 670 units, compared with the same month last year, reported the Department of Trade and Industry on Friday. The South African new passenger car market, at 39 945 units, shrunk by 418 units, or 1%, compared with July last...
Updated 1 hour 12 minutes ago Changes had to be made in South Africa’s water and sanitation sector to ensure challenges were resolved effectively, as well as to fast-track the country’s socioeconomic transformation, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane told delegates at the 2014...
Updated 1 hour 29 minutes ago Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has confirmed that the reline project at its Newcastle mill, in KwaZulu-Natal, has hit snags and that the project, which was initially expected to be completed four months after the May 12 shutdown began, will be...
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
This Week's Magazine
South African construction company Group Five says work on the rehabilitation of the 800 km stretch of the Plumtree–Mutare highway, in Zimbabwe, should be completed by the end of this year. Giving evidence before the Parliamentary Porfolio Committee on Transport...
The Space Operations division of the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) revealed on July 17 that it had supported the successful launch of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite on July 2. The...
Phase 1A of Johannesburg’s Rea Vaya bus rapid transit (BRT) system should carry around 42 000 people a day, while it was been expected that Phase 1B, rolled out last year, would add another 60 000 daily passengers. However, the entire system is currently carrying...
A stormwater project in Bedforview, east of Johannesburg, has stalled for eight months after project managers in the Ekurhuleni municipality resigned and municipal managers were placed on special leave without designating replacements. Construction to reinforce the...
The design of the Beit Bridge border post is the biggest impediment to efficient freight movement between Zimbabwe and South Africa, says Cross-border Road Transport Agency CEO Sipho Khumalo. Beit Bridge is the busiest border post in Africa. A research study on the...