ContourGlobal has been designing and developing the project for two years and has conducted extensive seabed surveys and methane gas sampling in the lower depths of the Lake. The project will be constructed in two phases with the first phase of 25 MW becoming operational in 2010 and the second phase of 75 MW going into operation in 2012.
The electricity generated by the project will help the East African nation overcome a severe electricity shortage which has inhibited its economic growth and led to deforestation in the Lake Kivu region as inhabitants have had no alternative to using wood for fuel. The project is located within a region that is desperate for less expensive and more reliable sources of power.
The electric generation component of the project will be powered by Wartsila natural gas burning engines. ContourGlobal Kivuwatt Ltd has entered into a 25-year concession and power purchase agreement under which it will sell electricity generated by the power plant to the Rwandan electric distribution company, Electrogaz.
ContourGlobal develops and operates electric and combined heat and power businesses around the world for both governments and multinational companies. The Company focuses both upon high-growth, under-served markets and innovative niches within developed markets — such as renewable energy and Combined Heat and Power (CHP). The Company consists of eleven businesses in operation and construction on four continents with approximately 1,000 MW of generating capacity and an active pipeline of new development business totaling 10,000 MW.