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DRC, Rwanda to "share" methane gas

Kigali, June 10 (RNA) - From bitter foes, Rwanda and DR Congo say the past is gone - signing an agreement on Wednesday which could give the two neighbours a 50-50 share of methane gas currently being explored in Lake Kivu, RNA reports.

A delegation from Kinshasa led by Mr. Eugene Serufuli, head of the DRC utility provider SNEL is in Kigali since Monday working on the final details of the broad agreement. The two sides have had several sessions previously in Western Rwanda and Eastern RDC.

According to Rwanda State Minister for Energy Eng. Albert Butare, the methane gas in Lake Kivu can generate some 700 megawatts - which can be shared at a proportion of 350 megawatts for each country.

Estimates also show that the amount of methane in the lake could provide power for up to 55 years, Mr. Butare told reporters after the signing.

Kinshasa and Kigali will cooperate in exploration and exploitation. A joint monitoring team is to be set up to formulate final guidelines on each country's contribution and role - including financial.

In March, Rwanda signed a $325m gas-to-power deal with American firm CountourGlobal over 25 years to generate100 Megawatts of electricity from gas. Kigali is keen to have the gas provide the much needed electricity to power its booming economy.

ARI-RNA/Energy./ 10. 06. 09/ 10 : 00 GMT


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