Peat to Power in Rwanda

Category: Project generation Published: Friday, 14 November 2014

Peat Energy

 

Background

A first Peat master plan was developed in 1993 and indicates the potential to develop around 700MW of generation from Rwanda’s Peat resources. The master plan indicates that Rwanda has estimated reserves of 155 million tons of dry peat spread over an area of about 50,000 hectares. About 77% of peat reserves are near Akanyaru and Nyabarongo rivers and the Rwabusoro Plains.

However, the study was not detailed enough to allow the full understanding of the entire country’s peat resources. Thus, the detailed study to provide the detailed picture of peat reserves in Rwanda is underway.

 

Potential for Peat-to Power Generation

The theoretical potential (assuming all peat bogs are exploited) for electricity energy generation from peat is estimated to about 1,200MW. Peat reserves in Rwabusoro marshland and around Akanyaru River can fuel 450MW of electricity generation for 25years.

The Rwabusoro marshland and Rucahabi in Nyanza and Bugesera districts present significant opportunity for large scale peat harvesting for power generation. Rwanda plans to develop its peat resources to generate about 200MW of power by 2017.

 

Peat-to-Power Projects in Rwanda

The Government of Rwanda is developing a15MW peat-to-Power in Rusizi District in Bugarama Sector. The government is negotiating with a strategic partner to develop a 100 MW peat fired power plant in South Akanyaru prospect and the project is to be developed as Public Private Partnership (PPP) .The government of Rwanda has advertised tenders for EPC Contractor and an Owner’s engineer for 100MW peat-to-power project in Rwabusoro prospect and which is to be structured either as public or private.

Currently, The Government of Rwanda is preparing a Peat Policy to sustainably and safely harvest peat resources for power generation.

 

Investment Opportunities in Peat Projects (Greenfield 100MW project)

Rwanda is also keen to develop its peat resources as part of its short-term strategy to sustainably increase power capacity. The Government of Rwanda is open to discussions with any potential investor for the development of the 100MW plant. The government is also open for a long term concession with a strategic investor as long as the off-take price and project structure makes sense.

The project is planned to be developed as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) and the government may consider a PPP or Joint Venture (JV) structure to lower the cost of capital and the cost of power generation projects. 

 

Peat projects along EDPRS II

Along the EDPRS II period (2013-2018), Rwanda envisages to implement the following peat projects to deliver the energy demand driven roadmap:

-          Hakan Peat Project (100MW) expected to deliver in 2017; the project is under implementation.

-          Gishoma Peat to Power (15MW) expected to deliver in June 2014; the construction is underway.

-          Three Small Peat projects (expected to generate 15 MW each); the projects are planned to deliver at the end of 2015, mid 2016 and the end of 2016 respectively.

-          100 MW of additional Peat generation expected to be delivered through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in 2017; the detailed feasibility study is underway.

For the Three Small Peat projects; the pre-feasibility studies on seven such sites was completed early 2013. It is anticipated that at least three of these sites are suitable for developing small scale peat energy generation (15 MW).

 

As for the 100 MW of additional peat generation, following the conclusion of the Power Purchase Agreement with Hakan, there is considerable private sector interest in developing generation from peat reserves. Building from this interest, the competitive tender will be launched for a private developer to operate mining and generation infrastructure to provide an additional 100 MW to the national grid. The potential sites were identified, including the Akanyaru and the site around Akagera.

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