Rwanda's joint study on Lake Kivu with DRC

Sunday July 2 2017

KivuWatt power production facility in Lake

KivuWatt power production facility in Lake Kivu. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA | NATION 

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Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo have agreed to commission a feasibility study for joint development of 200 megawatts of power from methane gas from Lake Kivu, which straddles their common border.

The memorandum of understanding signed recently by the two countries proposes a joint taskforce of technical experts who will carry out a study to determine the costs, timeline and impact of the project.

If the agreement comes into force, experts in the field see it not only as economically beneficial but also as having a stabilising influence on the two countries whose relations are often tested by mutual suspicion and cross-border incidents.

“The joint agreement on the exploration of Lake Kivu got signed on June 22, in Bukavu, and the two countries have now designated teams to carry out technical tasks, mostly feasibility studies, designs and drafts,” said Alexis Karani, an advisor to Rwanda’s Minister of State for Energy and Water.

According to Mr Karani, the teams will be meeting regularly to fine tune the deal and agree on other details such as supervision of the project and sharing of the energy that will be produced.