In Rwanda, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on national budget and patrimony has tasked the ministry of infrastructure to conduct a study to establish whether the methane gas in Lake Kivu can be used for cooking.
This follows a directive from government that all households and restaurants must use gas for cooking, the Times reported.
The investigation is envisioned to reduce the country’s import bill if Rwandans used gas from Lake Kivu.
It is reported that at present, the country imports Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) from neighbouring countries including Kenya and Tanzania. Read more…
According to media, Energy Development Corporation Limited (EDCL) managing director, Emmanuel Kamanzi, said the idea is commendable. Read more…
“We are in negotiations with investors to see how we can try to extract and bottle the gas,” Kamanzi revealed.
He added: “Until now, the technologies available show us that the gas can be packed, but the challenge for us is that it requires to be packed in huge containers because it cannot be compressed.
“That is the only remaining difficulty, but we are mulling over feasibility studies like for setting up pipelines that can extract it for supply in cities.”
Tax on imported gas
Media also highlighted that in 2012, the government waived tax on imported gas, reducing the cost of a kilogram of the gas from between Rwf1,300 ($1,57)and Rwf1,600 ($1,93) to between Rwf800 ($0,96)and Rwf1,000 ($1,21) currently.
Media further cited figures from the Rwanda Energy Group (REG), which indicates that the companies importing LPG into Rwanda have a storage capacity of 80,000 cubic meters.
However, REG said that no studies have yet been done to determine demand for LPG countrywide.
According to the 2013/14 Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey (EICV4), 83.3% of Rwandan households use firewood and charcoal as cooking fuel, yet under Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II), fuel wood consumption is expected to reduce to 50% by 2018.
REG stated that the remaining 50% will be using gas, biogas or improved cook stoves that are energy-efficient.
According to media, the power company also revealed that currently, less than 1% of Rwandan households use cooking gas.
Featured image source: Shutterstock
Source: ESI Africa