Rwanda to explore making fertilizers from methane gas

Leave a comment / By: manifel / 04 September, 2020 14:08:38PM
Rwanda to explore making fertilizers from methane gas

Rwanda is weighing up options of exploiting methane gas in Lake Kivu for agriculture purposes by making fertilisers from the resource, according to the Ministry of Infrastructure.

While the country currently uses the odourless, colourless, flammable gas primarily for electricity generation, a wide range of literature indicates that it can be used to manufacture organic chemicals, among other things. 

The ministry said that the methane gas in Lake Kivu can do a lot more. 

“The government of Rwanda is looking at other possible alternative uses of that resources in the future,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that; “the gas can be used for transport and industrial purposes such as heating, and making fertilisers.” 

Currently, Rwanda generates 26MW of electricity from methane gas.

Rwanda and neighbouring DR Congo have mobilised 600,000 Euros from European Union to finance the ongoing review of how to manage and develop the Lake Kivu gas resources.

The reviews will also guide both countries on future proper exploitation of methane in the lake.

Rwanda has currently hired three firms to exploit the resource.

For instance, Kivuwatt is now operating a 26MW energy plant in the lake with plans to upgrade it to 100MW.

Shema Power is in the process of developing a 56MW power plant on Rwanda’s largest lake while GasMeth is keen on extracting the methane gas for industrial use.

Methane gas is seen as one of the projects to drive the government ambition of providing electricity access to all Rwandans by 2024.

Partnership with DR Congo

According to the Ministry, “we have a good partnership” with DR Congo towards exploitation of methane gas in Lake Kivu.

The two countries have signed a raft of agreements on developing and monitoring joint projects on the lake.

Methane gas in Lake Kivu is estimated to have capacity to generate 700 MW of electricity over a period of 55 years. Rwanda’s share of this total potential is about 350 MW, with the rest going to DR Congo.

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