Lake Kivu is one of the African Great Lakes and is Rwanda’s largest lake. It is located on the border of the Republic of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It has a depth in places of approximately 485 meters with a surface area of 2400 km2, at an altitude of 1462 meters. The lake contains approximately 300 billion m3 of carbon dioxide (“CO2“) and 55-60 billion m3 of naturally occurring, economically viable methane gas (“CH4”) accumulated within the lake at depths of 300 – 450 meters, with hundreds of millions of cubic meters of CH4 added every year. The initial discovery of methane in the deep waters of the lake was made in 1935 while authorities were trying to understand why there were only small fish in the lake. Several studies of the lake and its potential resource have been undertaken since the discovery. The most comprehensive is the work by Dr. Klaus Tietze in 1976.
The resource is divided equally between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The total power generation potential of the methane contained in the lake has been estimated to be able to deliver approximately 700 MW of power for a period of 40 years. The Project will use this resource to provide the Rwandan Government with reliable and economic power in an environmentally conscious manner. http://www.lake-kivu.org