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DRC Pushes Forward with Gulf of Kabuno Gas Degassing Project for Regional Safety


'DRC Pushes with Gulf of Kabuno Gas Degassing Project for Regional Safety'

During the 3rd Council of Ministers meeting on Friday, June 28, 2024, at the Cité de l’Union Africaine, Minister of Hydrocarbons Aimé Molendo Sakombi presented a pivotal update on the Gulf of Kabuno degassing project. This initiative is a significant stride toward mitigating the risk of gas explosions in the North Kivu and South Kivu regions.


Minister Sakombi reported substantial progress with the commencement of the industrial phase and the installation of three Industrial Stations. This marks a critical advancement in the project’s aim to secure the region from potential gas-related disasters.


Key Milestones and Challenges


  • Successful Installation: The first Industrial Station was successfully installed, with provisional acceptance on September 12, 2023. This achievement underscores the project’s momentum and its importance in safeguarding the region.

  • Funding Delays: Despite this progress, Minister Sakombi highlighted two significant challenges. The funding for Industrial Stations 2 and 3 has been delayed since October 2023, hindering further advancements.

  • Operational Risks: Additionally, the drifting of the Pilot Station presents a collision risk with Industrial Station 1, necessitating immediate attention to ensure continued safety and progress.


Urgent Call for Government Action

Given the critical importance of the project in securing Goma and its surrounding areas from potential gas explosions, Minister Sakombi urged the government to expedite the release of necessary funds to the Bureau Central de Coordination (BCECO). This financial support is crucial for completing the remaining stations and ensuring the maintenance of the Pilot Station.


“This action will resume construction operations for the two remaining stations and permanently eliminate the threat posed to our populations in North Kivu and their ecosystem,” emphasized Minister Sakombi.


He also noted that fulfilling this commitment aligns with President Félix Tshisekedi’s pledge to enhance security and attractiveness in the region, reinforcing the government's dedication to regional safety and development.


The Importance of the Degassing Project


Initiated in 2016 and transitioned to its industrial phase in 2023, the Gulf of Kabuno degassing project aims to prevent catastrophic events such as limnic eruptions caused by high concentrations of carbon dioxide in Lake Kivu’s deep waters. These eruptions pose a significant risk to millions of lives in the region.


The project, overseen by the Ministry of Hydrocarbons and implemented by the French company Limnological Corporation, is crucial for safeguarding millions of lives from the potential dangers of a CO2 explosion.


Conclusion


The advancement of the Gulf of Kabuno degassing project is a testament to the DRC’s commitment to regional safety and environmental protection. As the project progresses, it is imperative that the government addresses the funding and operational challenges to ensure the continued safety and well-being of the North Kivu and South Kivu populations.


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