Rwanda waiting for results on two geothermal feasibility studies

Karisimbi, Rwanda (source: flickr/ uvioc, creative commons)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 3 May 2017

Rwanda is anxiously waiting for the results of feasibility studies for two geothermal sites hoped to provide sufficient potential for the development of geothermal power projects, after similar efforts failed at a similar potential site at Kalisimbi.

Reported today, a four year research on geothermal potential on two sites in the Western province of Rwanda is soon to conclude.

Two feasibility studies that were launched in 2013 at a cost of $ 300,000 each are expected to lead to drilling of geothermal energy on two spots.

Speaking to KT Press last week, Uwera Rutagarama, geothermal development manager at Energy Development Corporation Limited (EDCL), said “We have undertaken surface exploration studies of Bugarama and Gisenyi sites in Western Province.”

The surface exploration consists of studying geology, hot springs and geophysics to indicate whether there is hot water underneath that can be drilled for power generation purposes. Two months before the results could be released, EDCL officials cannot yet confirm the outcome.

If the results are negative, this could mean a second shock on the country’s ambitions to develop geothermal energy projects.

In 2014, efforts for geothermal development at Kalisimbi with hopes of up to 50 MW of development were unsuccessful after an investment of Rwf 22 billion (around $26 million).

The CEO of country energy body, Rwanda Energy Group (REG) which is in charge of energy utility in Rwanda, Eng. Jean Bosco Mugiraneza said that the power generation project of “Kalisimbi geothermal reserves were abandoned forever but the exploration studies are underway at other sites.”

The Kalisimbi Geothermal Project stopped after two wells were drilled and tested, water supply systems were installed and a road built to the site.

Source: KT News