Symbion Power, an American energy investment firm, has investedUS$157m into extracting methane gas from Rwanda’s volcanic Lake Kivu.
KTPress can exclusively reveal that the firm’s investment counted for 40.2% of Rwanda’s total Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) registered in 2014.
Figures obtained from the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) indicate that a total 111 projects worth US$390.6mwere registered.
The first ten were worth US$259m (66.31% of total FDIs). Symbion Power counted for 60.61% of the top ten.
Symbion Power, a leading partner in US President Barrack Obama’s ‘Power Africa’ initiative, announced during the US-Africa Heads of State Summit in Washington that it would double access to electricity on the continent.
They have injected US$157m into extraction of methane gas from Lake Kivu to generate 50MW.
Currently, Rwanda runs on a 79% energy deficit (119MW capacity), and needs 563MW by 2017.
To fill the gap,Rwanda is courting private investors and plans to import 400MW from Ethiopia and Kenya.
Another American firm, Rwaza Hydropower Ltd, invested US$17.2m into energy generation, making the sector the largest portion of the 2014 FDIs, with a total $174.2m.
According to the 2014 FDIs figures, the second largest investor was IHS Rwanda Ltd, a Mauritius firm that has invested US$60m into telecommunication towers.
Meanwhile, a breakdown of the US$390.6m shows that manufacturing attracted US$37.6m from 12 investors, including two Chinese companies; C & H Garments Ltd into textile for export and White Nile Cement.
Seven investors injected US$63.8m into construction and logistics. Three investors including Uganda’s Cranes Bank Belgium-German’s AB Bank put in US$17.3m.
US$17.5m was from India’s Mahtma Gandhi University and three others investors into education. RDB told KTPress all the investments are expected to create 5,169 jobs.
Since 2009, Rwanda has attracted roughly US$2b. However, investments dramatically went down due to the global financial crisis.
In 2009, FDIs were US$500.8m and then hit low bottom in 2010 with just US$108.7m and picked up in 2011 with US$371.2m, dropping to $251.1m in 2012.
The country has applied new strategies to attracted more investors; including carrying out robust business reforms, attending global events and investment forums and carrying out cold-calling.
In October, while in UK, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame presented 15 bankable projects worth US$22.93b.