Nov 11, 2011
Lake Kivu methane to fuel 25 MW Rwanda power plantBack
New York|Africa|ContourGlobal|Engines|KivuWatt|PROJECT|Wärtsilä Power Plants Africa|Africa|Democratic Republic Of Congo|Rwanda|Catastrophic Gas Release|Energy|Equipment|Methane Gas|Power Generation|Power-generation|Services|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 Electricity News
Article contains comments
Article contains comments
Updated 13 minutes ago Much like South Africa was seen as an automotive hub, white appliance manufacturer Defy aimed to establish the country as a hub for the export of white appliances, Koc chairperson Mustafa Koc said on Monday. As Koc subsidiary Arcelik Group leveraged its $324-million...
Updated 17 minutes ago South African radar company Reutech Radar Systems (RRS) is planning to develop new products next year, while remaining focused on its core businesses. "This is to maintain our momentum in both the defence and commercial markets," RRS CEO Carl Kies told Engineering...
Updated 25 minutes ago Fourth renewables bid announcement postponed amid third-round closure delay
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
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.
This Week's Magazine
JSE-listed real estate investment trust (REIT) Rebosis Property Fund achieved a distribution growth of 8.1% to 99.45c per linked unit in the financial year ended August 31, despite volatile market conditions.
A low-cost, inflatable incubator won this year’s international James Dyson design award, which aims to encourage and inspire the next generation of design engineers.
The World Bank released its ‘Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency’ report last month and ranked South Africa 43 out of 189 global economies for its ease of doing business, with Singapore topping the rankings.
Air Products South Africa officially launched its R300-million Eastern Cape air- separation unit (ASU), at its new manufacturing facility in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), earlier this month. It is the second facility that Air Products launched in South...
BMW South Africa (SA) has signed a power purchasing agreement with energy company Bio2Watt. The offtake partnership will bring renewable energy to the carmaker’s Rosslyn plant, north of Pretoria.