Lake Kivu, Rwanda

KivuWatt gas power plant

Lake Kivu, Rwanda

25 MW

This power plant utilises naturally occurring methane gas from Lake Kivu to generate electricity via Wärtsilä 34SG engines. Total output is 25 MW. By reducing gas levels in the lake while, at the same time, providing additional power generating capacity, both environmental and economic targets can be met.

The plant is powered by 20-cylinder Wärtsilä 34SG gas engines, and it was inaugurated by Rwanda’s President, Mr. Paul Kagame in June 2016. Future planned expansions to this project will increase the output by an additional 75 MW.

Lake Kivu, located on the border between Rwanda and the democratic Republic of Congo, contains high concentrations of methane gas.

Lake Kivu

Studies have predicted that a saturation point will eventually be reached that could lead to a catastrophic gas release. Extraction of the gas has thus the potential to both mitigate the risks of dangerous eruptions and provide substantial energy reserves. The actual extraction of the gas from the lake, however, is not included within Wärtsilä’s contractual scope.

Rwanda urgently needs additional electricity generating capacity, so this project has both economic and environmental benefits. The order has been placed by KivuWatt Ltd, a subsidiary of the New York -based international power company, ContourGlobal. The power plant supplies electricity to Rwanda’s national utility.

Main data

   Name   KivuWatt
   Type   Natural Gas (methane)
   Location   Kibuye, Rwanda
   Owner   KivuWatt Ltd.
   Delivered   2013
   Engines  3 x W20V34SG
   Total electrical output  25MW 

Downloads & links

Contact us

If you want to know more about the Lake Kivu project, please contact

Fabien Cadaut
Area Marketing Manager, Africa
Wärtsilä Energy Business
Tel. +358 40 756 5959

© 2020 Wärtsilä