The New Times (Kigali)

29 November 2008

Rwanda: Dutch Government Pledges Support for Rwanda's Energy Investment

Rubavu — The Dutch Minister for International Development Cooperation, Bert Koenders, has pledged his country's continuous support to the Rwandan Government in her efforts towards investment in alternative energy sources.

Koenders was speaking to journalists Thursday during his visit to the Kivu Methane Gas Project in Rubavu District.

"The bottom line of Rwanda's economic future lies in having sufficient energy that's why much effort is needed to make good use of the existing methane gas. The success of the pilot plant that we have just visited creates way for more investments energy and gives us a platform for more cooperation and support," said Koenders.

He added: "We shall support Rwanda to solve the current energy challenges. In short, this is the beginning of a very practicable cooperation."

Koenders said that his government will support Rwanda not only in Methane Gas investment, but also other energy sources such as biogas and the planting of more trees to provide firewood.

He was accompanied by the State Minister for Energy, Albert Butare who said that following the success of the pilot plant, several investors have expressed interest in the project.

"Contour Global, an American energy investment firm, is close to signing a deal to build the permanent electricity plant on Lake Kivu shores, which would eventually produce 100 megawatts, nearly twice the country's daily production," said Butare.

The pilot project that was completed earlier this month is currently generating 1.3 megawatts.

Butare added that the Kenyan based Aga Khan group is also working hand-in-hand with the Rwanda Investment Group (RIG) to construct a plant set to produce over 3mw.

Butare explained that the - 12 m pilot plant which started almost as a myth was the first of its kind in the world and that its technology has proved to work.

"The pilot plant has opened way for other investors because the current 1.3mw power that we are channelling into Electrogaz (the national water and energy facility) has proved to them that the technology works and is practicable," he said. He added that the pioneer plant is expected to produce up to 4.2 mw of energy.

Koenders is one of the high profile international donor representatives who attended the just concluded two-day Development Partners Meeting (DPM) in Kigali.

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