The Democratic Republic of Congo has awarded licenses for three natural gas blocks in Lake Kivu to Renewable Energy Developments (a subsidiary of United States-based Symbion Power), Winds Exploration and Production LLC, and Canada-based Alfajiri Energy.
The production-sharing contracts will be signed within 15 days, and Congo hopes to use the methane from lake Kivu to generate electricity for fertilizer and cement manufacturing and household cooking.
This is a large investment with a price tag of at least $300 million. We are also considering investing in our own private transmission network so we can wheel the power we produce across the region.Symbion Power CEO, Paul Hinks
The lake Kivu gas block auction is part of a licensing round that also includes 27 onshore oil blocks, which have raised environmental concerns.
The deadline for the oil block tender is Jan. 29, but the hydrocarbons minister is considering postponing it.
Previous efforts by the DR Congo government to boost output beyond the roughly 25,000 barrels per day it has long produced along its Atlantic coast have run into logistical challenges, environmental and political risks and regulatory uncertainty in the sector.
The government says Congo has 22 billion barrels of crude reserves and it is targeting production of 200,000 barrels per day.