Lake Kivu, Rwanda, 31 August 2022 – African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) was delighted to attend the ground-breaking ceremony marking an historical milestone in the GasMeth Compressed Natural Gas project. The project, being developed by Gasmeth Energy Limited, has the capacity to rapidly transform the industrial and trade landscape of Rwanda and the broader East African sub-region.
Afreximbank’s involvement in the project dates back to 2020, when the Bank approved a project preparation facility in favour of GasMeth Energy Limited. This facility was crucial in the de-risking of the project and its rapid progession to bankability. In addition, Afreximbank has been appointed as the project’s Mandated Lead Arranger and will lead the syndication of the debt finance estimated at more than US$300 million.
Upon its completion, the GasMeth Compressed Natural Gas project will enhance the competitiveness of Rwanda across various sectors, as well as reinforcing the country’s energy security and reducing its exposure to external risks and volatility, while creating thousands of quality jobs.
Moreover, the project constitutes a key element on Rwanda’s promotion of a just energy transition, in which air quality is improved and deforestation – accelerated by use of wood and charcoal as a cooking fuel – is drastically reduced. Fundamentally, this project will assist Rwanda and the wider sub-region to capitalise on the opportunities arising from the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Mr. Kudakwashe Matereke, Afreximbank Regional Chief Operating Officer for East Africa, commented:
“We are delighted to have contributed to the ongoing development of this pivotal infrastructure project – which promises benefits not only to Rwanda but to its sovereign neighbours, stimulating as it does the indsutrialisation of the region whilst helping to reduce Rwanda’s carbon emissions. The Bank looks forward to syndicating the debt finance as the company moves into the project implementation stage.”
Responding to the development, Mrs. Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President, Intra-Africa Trade Bank at Afreximbank commented:
“The success of Afreximbank’s involvement in this process demonstrates how the Bank’s Project Preparation Facility can be deployed to support projects in both the public and private sectors in member countries, and cultivate private sector interest in ventures which serve to advance the economic and social infrastructure of the African countries.”
Mr. Stephen Tierney, Group CEO GasMeth, commented:
“We would like to thank our financing partners, gas customers, contractors and our Karongi community hosts for attending the ground-breaking ceremony. We were delighted the day turned out a success and has continued to receive such strong support from all areas within the Government of Rwanda. We look forward to working closely with our main partner Afreximbank in the coming weeks to transition this project into construction and bring it to reality. Our belief in delivering this project and the transformational, economic, environmental and social benefits has never been stronger.”
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African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa. A stalwart supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has launched a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. Afreximbank is working with the AU and the AfCFTA Secretariat to develop an Adjustment Facility to support countries in effectively participating in the AfCFTA. At the end of 2021, the Bank’s total assets and guarantees stood at about US$25 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$4 billion. Afreximbank disbursed more than US$51 billion between 2016 and 2021. The Bank has ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A), Moody’s (Baa1), Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) (A-) and Fitch (BBB). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt
GasMeth Energy LTD (“GasMeth”), a company focussed toward high impact or transformational energy projects was awarded a 25 year Concession Agreement by the Government of Rwanda to extract methane gas from the deep, Methane rich waters of Lake Kivu in Karongi. The project includes producing the gas (held in solution in the water), processing it on barges tethered in the lake, piping it to shore, compressing and distributing it as Compressed Natural Gas (“CNG”) within Rwanda. The aim of the project is to provide a long term, environmentally friendly and affordable source of domestically produced gas. The CNG will replace other fuels on the market such as; gasoline, diesel fuel, peat, coal, wood and LPG. The primary use of the gas will be in the transportation, industrial, household, and power generation sectors in Rwanda and eventually, an export gas
For more information, visit: www.gasmeth.com.