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Kagame To Court CEOs Of World’s Largest Energy Firms

by Jean de la Croix Tabaro
11:58 am
A Methane gas extraction rig on Rwanda's Lake Kivu

A Methane gas extraction rig on Rwanda’s Lake Kivu

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame is expected in the U.S from February 22-26 where he will present regional energy challenges and the available opportunities Rwanda and the region can offer.

Kagame will be among the key speakers at the 35th conference of IHS CERAWeek, a world leading forum on the future of energy taking place in Houston, Texas, U.S.

CERAWeek 2016 will bring together leaders from the global energy community for dialogue and insight into the energy future, and responses to the current volatilities and uncertainties.

Over 2,800 participants from more than 50 countries and more than 300 speakers, who are well knowledgeable of energy matters; industrialists, policy and financial leaders from across the world are expected to attend.

Discussions will also tackle the fluctuating oil prices, its market and required technology, on top of climate challenges that hinder the oil business.

Energy policies and strategies, renewable energy and other themes are also on agenda of the forum that will be chaired by U.S. Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz.

President Kagame was chosen among key speakers because, “he is widely sought to address regional and international audiences on a range of issues including African development, leadership and the potential of ICT as a dynamic industry as well as an enabler of Africa’s social economic transformation,” reads part of his IHS CERAWeek profile.

Rwanda plans to achieve 70% electricity access rate from the current 24% and aims at having an installed capacity of 563 Megawatt in 2018, from the current installed capacity of 161 Megawatt.

To achieve this target, Rwanda is seeking investors to tap into this area and also plans to import over 400 megawatt of electricity from its neighbours, Kenya and Ethiopia.

Symbion Power Lake Kivu Ltd, an American energy corporation has already signed a $150m deal to extract 50 megawatt of methane gas, part of the famous Kivu Watt project.

Kivu has an estimated 700 megawatt methane gas deposits. Symbion Power will have commissioned 50 Megawatt to the national grid in the next 36 months, said Symbion Power CEO Paul Hinks.

Several development partners are supporting Rwanda energy projects, the World Bank having recently signed a $ 95 million deal to connect 72,000 new homes on the national grid and address some energy infrastructure challenges.

Meanwhile, at the conference at the Hilton Americas Hotel, other key speakers expected include CEOs of Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips, GE, PEMEX, and Siemens.

Norwegian President and his energy minister and other eminent personalities are also expected.

President Kagame will certainly pitch to global investors the abundant opportunities Rwanda offers in the areas of peat, solar, hydro, geothermal as well as the wider East African Community.