NEW YORK and WASHINGTON, May 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- ContourGlobal announced today that the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) has issued an investment guarantee supporting the company's $142 million KivuWatt project, an integrated methane gas extraction and production facility and associated 25 MW power plant located on Lake Kivu in Kibuye, Rwanda. The combined project will remove otherwise hazardous methane gas trapped in the waters of Lake Kivu, and process the gas to use as fuel to generate much needed electricity for the national power utility of Rwanda, where the vast majority of the population does not have access to electricity.
By tapping the indigenous fuel, which is comprised of sub-surface methane dissolved in Lake Kivu's deep water, the KivuWatt project will significantly lower the cost of electricity necessary to drive Rwanda's fast growing economy. The KivuWatt project will also represent the first large scale use of the gas, and the gas extraction will greatly mitigate the environmental hazards associated with a natural release of the lake gases in addition to providing an environmentally friendly and sustainable source of power generation.
The KivuWatt project is currently under construction in Kibuye, Rwanda where the barge housing the gas extraction facility is nearing completion and is expected to be launched in early June 2011. Wartsila of Finland is manufacturing the electricity generating engines and will begin constructing the power generating station, also located in Kibuye, in May 2011. KivuWatt is currently finalizing a project financing with a lending syndicate led by the African Development Bank, the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, and FMO, the Dutch development bank. The project is expected to be placed into service in 2012.
Joseph C. Brandt, President and Chief Executive Officer of ContourGlobal, said "MIGA's issuance of this guarantee package is an important development milestone for the KivuWatt project and comes as the project is just one year away from full operations. We are grateful to MIGA for their dedication and support and the leadership they have shown in committing to the project at this critical stage."
"Rwanda has tremendous potential for economic growth, but the persistent challenge of a lack of power infrastructure has been a huge constraint," says Izumi Kobayashi, MIGA's Executive Vice President. "We are pleased that we were able to facilitate this investment into a complex renewable project that will help Rwanda achieve one of its key development objectives."
ContourGlobal is a power and energy operating and development company headquartered in New York City with approximately 900 employees worldwide and over 1,300 MW of capacity in operation, under construction, or in active development in a diverse set of markets including North and South America, the European Union, Ukraine, and Sub-Saharan Africa. The Company is one of the leading power development companies in Africa with projects under construction or in development in five countries, including Togo, Nigeria, Rwanda, Kenya and Mali. Its project in Togo was recognized as Euromoney Project Finance Magazine's African Private Power Deal of the Year in 2009, and its ContourGlobal Solutions' project in Europe and Africa was similarly recognized by Euromoney Project Finance in 2010.
For more information, visit http://www.contourglobal.com.
MIGA was created in 1988 as a member of the World Bank Group to promote foreign direct investment into developing countries to support economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve people's lives. MIGA fulfills this mandate by offering political risk insurance (guarantees) to investors and lenders, covering risks including expropriation, breach of contract, currency transfer restriction, war and civil disturbance, and non-honoring of sovereign financial obligations.
For more information, visit http://www.miga.org