THE use of natural gas for generation of electricity in the country has enabled the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) to save a staggering 16 billion US dollars (approximately 36.8tri/-) for a period of 16 years between 2004 and 2020.
This is according to a Sustainability Report for 2021 launched by Wentworth Gas Limited on the sidelines of the two-day Tanzania Energy Congress which concluded yesterday at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre (JNICC) in Dar es Salaam.
Before the use of gas, Tanesco relied heavily on diesel and heavy fuel oil (HFO) for producing electricity which were not only expensive to operate but produced higher levels of carbon gases which are harmful to the environment.
“Since the introduction of gas-fired electricity generation, Tanzania has significantly reduced the cost of electricity production by replacing the expensive and heavily polluting fuel-based power generation plants.
“This has not only resulted in several environmental benefits but has also provided a more cost-effective solution for power production,” the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)of the company, Ms Katherine Roe said while briefing journalists on the report.
According to the report, a total of 4.6 billion litres of diesel and HFO were displaced by natural gas in power generation while 3.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions were saved during the period under review.
“By supplying stable, low carbon natural gas to the country for electricity generation and industrial use,Wentworth is contributing to Tanzania’s energy transformation by enabling affordable electricity to people and communities in the country,” Ms Roe commented.
Natural gas currently accounts for about 60 per cent of 1,565 megawatts(MW) which is generated and supplied to the national grid. The other major source of power generation in Tanzania is hydro-power plants.
Mnazi Bay’s average annual production stands at 81.6 million standard cubic feet per day (MMscf/d) which contributes 50 per cent of Tanzania’s demand for natural gas, the report reads in part.
The report by Wentworth showed that since the Mtwara-Dar es Salaam gas pipeline was commissioned in 2015, the Mnazi Bay gas fields started supplying natural gas to electricity generating facilities in Dar es Salaam.
As a result of the new source for power generation, 100 MW of diesel-powered units by Independent Power Tanzania Limited (IPTL) were replaced by natural gas in addition to 40 MW and 120 MW by Aggreko and Symbion, respectively.
In addition to the large-scale national projects, Wentworth Gas Limited in partnership with Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) supplies natural gas for cooking to over 400 households in Mtwara region.
The company also supplies gas to Mtwara gas-fired power plant which has a capacity of 18 MW. The generated power serves Mtwara and Lindi and has replaced diesel generation facilities.
The Sustainability Report 2021 compliments Wentworth’s annual report for financial year 2021, by providing further details on performance in relation to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues throughout the year.
It further describes the company’s approach to sustainability through Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aligned sustainability strategy focused on key five strategic pillars.
These pillars include support to responsible energy transition, enabling Tanzania’s energy transformation and building a diverse and inclusive workforce in addition to pursuing growth through collaboration and partnership and robust governance of ESG.