The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) published on Wednesday evening the names of the companies it selected, following a call for tenders, to operate three gas blocks in Lake Kivu, in the east of the country.
These are Symbion Power & Red, for the so-called “Makelele” block, Winds Exploration and Production LLC ( Idjwi block ) and Alfajiri Energy Corporation ( Lwandjofu block ), specifies the Minister of Hydrocarbons, Didier Budimbu, in a press release broadcast by its services.
The first two companies are headquartered in the United States, the third is in Canada.
“This is a first major step for the DRC and my ministry,” commented Mr. Budimbu on Twitter. “I would like to congratulate the companies for their common determination to provide expertise and sustainable solutions for the region and its population,” 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 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 its projects are strongly criticized, in particular by Greenpeace, which warns against the catastrophic consequences they could have on biodiversity and the climate because they affect in particular a forest complex rich in peat bogs.