(SeeNews) - Feb 16, 2012 - The government of Rwanda will spend USD 1 billion (EUR 768m) to develop geothermal power projects, Rwanda's daily New Times reported today, citing Stephen Alumasa, consultant at the Energy Water and Sanitation Agency (EWSA).
Alumasa said the planned amount includes construction of power plants, drilling of additional wells, infrastructure development, procurement of drilling materials and services.
Drilling of wells in the slopes of Mount Karisimbi, Kinigi and Gisenyi is expected to start soon. Two of these areas have a potential for 150 MW of geothermal power capacity, according to Alumasa.
Alumasa said Rwanda had already placed a USD-7-million order for the supply of drilling materials with China Petroleum Technology and Development Corp.
Delivery of the drilling equipment is expected in less than five months, Aimable Habinshuti, head of EWSA's geothermal unit, told the New Times. Drilling works will start as soon as the equipment is received, he added.
The government plans to have put in operation 300 MW of geothermal power capacity by 2017, which is enough to meet half of the country's energy needs by 2020, according to EWSA.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.768)