The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo announced on Wednesday 18.01.2023 evening the companies that have been selected, through a bidding process, to operate three gas blocks in Lake Kivu, located in the eastern part of the country.
As per the statement by the Minister of Hydrocarbons, Didier Budimbu, the chosen companies are: Symbion Power & Red for the “Makelele” block, Winds Exploration and Production LLC for the “Idjwi” block, and Alfajiri Energy Corporation for the “Lwandjofu” block.
The first two companies have their headquarters in the United States, the third in Canada.
“This is a significant first step for the DRC and my ministry,” said Mr. Budimbu on Twitter. “I want to extend my congratulations to the companies for their commitment to bringing their expertise and sustainable solutions for the benefit of the region and its people,” he added.
A call for tenders for these three blocks of methane gas was launched at the end of July, at the same time as for 27 oil blocks.
A dozen companies had expressed interest in the gas blocks of the Lake Kivu graben, located on the border between the DRC and Rwanda. The filing of applications for the oil blocks should continue until the end of January.
On October 12, during the counting of the applications for the gas blocks, Didier Budimbu assured that the whole process would be “public, transparent, impartial and competitive”. “Opportunities are given to all companies and no act of corruption will be tolerated,” he said.
Regarding oil exploitation, the government assures that it will ensure respect for the environment.
But his projects are strongly criticized, in particular by Greenpeace, which warns against the catastrophic consequences that they could have on biodiversity and the climate because affecting in particular a forest complex rich in peat bogs.