Posted on :Tuesday , 26th September 2017
USA based Symbion Energy and Germany based Higland Group Holdings Ltd. (HGHL) have signed a $100 million deal to collaborate on a project to extract Methane from Lake Kivu in Rwanda.
Symbion CEO, Paul Hinks said that the two designs in place for a $370 million project to generate as much as 106 megawats of Methane gas from the lake.
Lake Kivu has an estimated reserve of 55 billion cubic meters of methane gas occurring naturally, which the duo hope to use to their advantage. Symbion has already contributed 26MW from the lake to the national grid.
Lake Kivu is estimated to generate 500 MW of power over the next 40 years.
During the signing ceremony, Hinks said, “We are very excited about our new partnership with HGHL, they are injecting $100 million of cash equity into the Rwanda projects of Symbion Energy.”
The work will begin in November this year according to Hinks,
“This funding means we can fast track at least 22MW of power within 18 months. Approximately 8 to 10 MW of that can be accessible by mid-2018 from the existing plant we acquired in 2016 which is known as KP1. It will be rehabilitated and expanded,” Hink said.
He added: “Rwanda is one of the very few countries in Africa that properly plans ahead of time and they understand that substantial power capacity is necessary to attract investors to in turn have economic growth and provide electricity to its population.”
As far as mainland Sub-Saharan Africa is concerned, said Hink, Rwanda ranks highest in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index and “our experience there is a complete endorsement of that.”
He said that HGHL’s confidence in the country and in Symbion is evident by their want to make Rwanda their first large-scale investment in Africa.
Lord Irvine Laidlaw of HGHL was quoted saying “the most interesting and exciting project that I have undertaken, another one being a recent offshore wind farm in the North Sea, in Germany.
“We will be generating electricity by using a unique renewable resource, methane from the bottom of Lake Kivu. Delivering this will be a challenge I look forward to,”
“Even more important, we are generating power for one of the fastest growing countries in Africa, so we’ll be making a major contribution to its continued growth. As with all my peers, I am proud to be assisting Rwanda,” said Laidlaw.
Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Claire Akamanzi expressed her delight about the deal by sating the importance of the deal to the sustained development of Rwanda growth and development.
“This partnership is a really tremendous example of a co-investment that will help our country’s sustainable development and our growth agenda. We are impressed and we are committed to supporting the investors and the project to attain Rwanda’s full potential in energy,” she said.
The power projects will alleviate the possibility of damage from the gases that are trapped in the deep layers of the lake from escaping into the nearby civilian areas.
Symbion is also working in tandem with the Rwandan government and it’s agencies to ensure that the project meets its goals of delivering energy at economical rates in an efficient and environmentally friendly way.