The Democratic Republic of Congo’s oil ministry has invited bids for companies with interest in exploiting methane gas in the bottom of Lake Kivu along the eastern border with Rwanda.
The announcement that was done on the prime minister’s twitter account seeks to utilize an estimated 65 cubic kilometers of methane to produce power that can average at 100 gigawatts.
The lake also has an estimated 256 cubic kilometers of carbon dioxide.
The methane gas project will thus help in electrifying the country as only 8% of the population has electricity as well as get revenues through export with the DRC having a potential of supplying Africa’s current consumption threefold.
Other than the energy benefits the utilization of the gases will also help reduce calamities such as gas explosions that could endanger approximately two million people living along the lake basin.
There has no such calamity on lake Kivu although such an incident has been witnessed in Cameroon where in 1986 on Lake Nyos a gas leak left some 1700 people dead. Experts fear the danger from Lake Kivu which has much higher concentrations could be dire.
On the Rwandan side the Kigali led government is already exploiting the methane to produce 26 megawatts on the same lake through the U. S company ContourGlobal.