Rwanda signs $400 million deal to offer methane gas from ‘Killer Lake’

KIGALI (Reuters) – Rwanda said on Tuesday it had signed a $400 million deal to generate bottled gas from Lake Kivu, which emits such dense clouds of methane it’s called one of Africa’s “Killer Lakes”.

The project by Gasmeth Energy, owned by U.S. and Nigerian businessmen and Rwandans, would suck gas on the lake’s deep floor and bottle it for usage as fuel. This could, in turn, alleviate problems with toxic gas bubbling to your surface.

The seven-year deal, signed on Friday, was announced .

Rwanda already has two companies that extract gas from Lake Kivu to power electricity plants.

Clare Akamanzi, ceo of the Rwanda Development Board, told Reuters bottled methane is needed cut local attachment to wood and charcoal, the fuels most households and tea factories handy in the East African nation of 12 million people.

“We expect to get affordable gas that is environmentally friendly,” she said. “We expect that people can use gas in place of charcoal, the equivalent with industries like tea factories in contrast to using firewood, they do business with gas. It’s an important part of our green agenda.”

The deep waters of Lake Kivu, which is founded on the volcanic region on Rwanda’s border with all the Democratic Republic of Congo, emit such dense clouds of methane that scientists fear they are able to erupt, killing those living along its shore.

Eruptions from much smaller methane-emitting lakes in Cameroon, one creating a toxic cloud and another sparking an explosion, killed a maximum of nearly 1,800 people. The shores of Lake Kivu are usually more densely populated.

Gasmeth Energy said hello would finance, build as well as a gas extraction, processing and compression plant to provide methane domestically and abroad.

The bottled gas really should be on sale within eighteen months, Akamanzi said, adding that prices had not determined.