Hydragas develops Lake Kivu Gas: Leading Renewable Energy Projects

  • Closer view of the Volcano, Lake Kivu and Cap Rubone
  • Hydragas develops Lake Kivu Projects: View of Lake Kivu from Cap Rubone

Hydragas develops Lake Kivu Gas: Delivering clean energy and safety

Welcome to our website. We want you to understand how Hydragas develops Lake Kivu gas with smart technology. This site is written and updated regularly to provide information on a unique part of Africa.

Here is where Lake Kivu is bordered by Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The countries meet on the north shore of the lake at the twinned cities of Goma and Gisenyi. The region’s history has seen more than its fair share of conflict and tragedy. But we see it soon realising its potential to being the source of regional development, a world leader in clean energy sufficiency and an economic driver of both economies.

Hydragas has committed to the development of Lake Kivu’s unique gas resource since 2001. From this time, when early efforts were underway to find commercial gas production options. Our CEO and Founder, Philip Morkel, visited the lake to understand the unique needs and circumstances. At the time the deep complexity of the lake and the opportunity it presents were not yet clear to even the experts. Along with academics, engineers, a few investors and international governments, we have committed to developing a share understanding of the complexity and the opportunity.

Indentifying the needs and drivers for development

As Hydragas develops Lake Kivu projects, our deep understanding has developed to a point where we can lead extraction development. We have, arguably, the best extraction technology yet made available. There is a compelling story for impact investment that we can present, showing how relatively small investment generates amazing outcomes for clean energy and reduced carbon emissions.

Lake Kivu is all at once a stunningly beautiful location, a vast and valuable energy resource, a potentially massive threat to the community and a mystery to understand. We are part of an international community that is willing to commit years to study, research, discussion and collaboration and hopefully investment. Our need is to help advance the ideas and ideals that science can apply to the safe management and development of the massive energy resource. Without science and the identification of good practice, this opportunity can do easily switch from being a growth opportunity for both countries and their lake-side communities, to being a threat to them.

A fiery caldera, a lake that can erupt, a troubled region, but a spectacular energy opportunity

Deploying Innovative Technology

Our competitiveness is assured with smart innovative technology with which Hydragas develops Lake Kivu gas resources. With this leading technology, we developed over a decade, we can harvest the resource to its maximum potential. Our goal is to deliver on these results soon, funding permitting. Our goal is to provide safety, environmental preservation and lasting value to the community. In this way our IP will enable Lake Kivu to achieve and sustain its huge potential for clean energy.

The project’s impact can make the surrounding region a net-zero carbon community as a benefit. It can provide gigatons of carbon reduction impact on climate change. At the same time, reducing the lake’s methane inventory mitigates a hazardous risk of eruption to people’s safety.

Developing & Applying the Vision

How we achieve it is by applying our technology with vision, passion and idea for a safer lake to this purpose. Have a look at recent posts that update what this development can do.

Hydragas Energy is based in Vancouver, B.C., and is a Canadian company.  It is an innovation-led cleantech developer. It’s founded on breakthrough discovery that empowers gas production extraction from deep water. So this in turn means we can extract methane gas from gas-rich water bodies.  Hydragas has a powerful story, ready as a vehicle for impact investment. We recognise the lake as being a giant, natural CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) system.

We see the opportunity to develop it into gigantic CCUS (Carbon Capture, Utilisation & Storage) system in the process of making the lake safer. You could think of it as a nature-formed battery. Used wisely, it can power up two countries for centuries. It can drive an enormous economic boost for decades. The company applies this concept and potential into global, innovation-led, cleantech development. Indeed, it already is the technical leader in the field of CSS. Now we can add the benefits of CCUS to drive a clean economy to world-leading status.

Technology leads the way Hydragas develops Lake Kivu Gas

For instance, its initial methane source is the world’s largest bio-digester, a freak of nature, a rift-valley lake in Africa as big as Lake Ontario. Hydragas will develop Lake Kivu methane into a major regional energy play.

  • Lake Kivu Bathymetric view showing productive basined as a 3D Projection from the South East
  • Lake Kivu Bathymetric viewed as a 3D Projection from the South West

Overall Lake Kivu’s renewable gas inventory is over 12 tcf and growing. The methane it contains is enough to power the region with renewable natural gas (RNG) for 50 years. But recovering it will take breakthrough extraction technology.  However, the downside of not producing its gas inventory responsibly can lead to a catastrophe.  We now know that, by doing nothing, within 70 years the lake’s contents will one day erupt.  In fact, it would eject as much as 2-6 gigatons of carbon equivalent in a day. That’s more carbon than the USA emits in 4-12 months. (The timing difference is in choosing the range of multiplier used, i.e. 25-83 tons CO2 per ton CH4).

Preventing a Catastrophe

To prevent a catastrophe, we require large-scale gas production to reduce the risk. Specifically, we need to remove methane as a priority. A first series of low-carbon, renewable natural gas projects is ready-to-build. This 12-project series reduces carbon releases to atmosphere by >2 gigatons. But it can also do it with high investor returns.  Further, projects by Hydragas Energy can develop the largest untapped hydrocarbon resource on earth. This is oceanic methane hydrates.  Most technologies and extraction plant designs theorised or tested to date are ineffective or unsafe. But Hydragas develops Lake Kivu most effectively and safely of all the competitors.

How Hydragas applies novel technology to Lake Kivu

Annotated Lake Kivu Satellite image showing key data on lake size and contents
Annotated Lake Kivu Satellite View

This site publishes regular articles and blogs on the methane resource in Lake Kivu. They outline the story behind the technology breakthroughs, optimising of gas extraction and lessons-learned. The stories posted are to be informative. This is a multi-faceted field of knowledge that is little-known and seldom published. 

We outline and link to expert articles on the dangers of Lake Kivu.  Dr Finn Hirslund and Philip Morkel co-wrote a detailed technical outline of the state of Lake Kivu and its extraction technology, now published in Elsevier’s Journal of African Science. While Lake Kivu is a huge potential threat, it can be tamed. Cooperation of the development groups with experts and with governments can ensure safety for all affected parties.  

Knowing how to do it: for safety’s sake

Hydragas develops Lake Kivu in a way that places it at the forefront of global renewable natural gas (RNG) opportunities. By itself, the planned series of projects will account for 2-6 gigatons of emission reductions, depending on the factors used to calculate emissions. The global target for RNG is to be producing 28 gigatons by 2060, mostly from cattle and pig farming waste. But most of these other RNG projects will be far smaller and will not have a claim to be be saving millions of lives too. By so many measures, Lake Kivu being upgraded from a natural CCS to a CCUS is a stand-out opportunity for a cleaner environment and carbon reduction.

The ideas for developing Lake Kivu were simpler at first. It was to make more gas than an experimental plant built in 1965 on the lake’s shore to supply a brewery. But the rationale for its development has grown. As the global climate crisis grows, so do the stories behind the many positive reasons to develop Lake Kivu.

Here are some quick links to more detail in pages and posts on this site:

4 thoughts on “Hydragas develops Lake Kivu Gas: Leading Renewable Energy Projects

  1. Hallo Philip Morkel and the Hydragas Team:
    Good to hear this news. Interested to be involved in the Lake Kivu projects.
    I enjoyed working on the initial steps with you in 2002/2004.
    This was while my main focus was the PBMR project at Murray&Roberts.
    For the Kivu projects, how can I apply and/or get more info/news on this or other possibilities?
    Kind Regards. Coen Terblanche
    +27 83 460 4858

  2. Hello
    My name is steve and I am actually looking for an opportunity in gas industry and I am interested in coming to congo. I really hope I can have the company details for me to apply

    1. Hi Steve, It’s good to hear from you. Right now we’re deep into fundraising for that project and settling details of the deal with investors. I expect it could take six months. It may also take that or longer to be able to travel to the region. If you can be that patient, let me know your skills-set and what kind of role you’re looking for on the project. Although it’s early days, let us have your resume on info@hydragas.net. Philip

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