POWER generation through natural gas has helped the government to save 10 billion US dollars (over 22tri/-) in 13-year period, according to Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC).
The government saved amount after it started using natural gas in power generation in 2004 to December 2017. TPDC’s researcher Engineer Aristides Kato said over the weekend that during the period, the country gained other opportunities, thanks to the presence of natural gas.
He named the opportunities as establishment of construction companies, creation of job opportunities, port improvement, establishment of security companies and various colleges.
Speaking at a TPDC organised seminar for editors and journalists on the corporation’s strategic plans ahead of building up an industrial economic country, Engineer Kato said so far 50 per cent of electricity in the country is generated from natural gas.
At least 37 big industries and three institutions use natural gas to run their daily operations, he said, adding that already TPDC has started receiving requests from various industries seeking connection to the Mtwara- Dar es salaam gas pipeline. Already Goodwill tiles factory in Mkuranga District, Coast region has been connected to the system.
“We are negotiating with many other industries in Mkuranga and Bagamoyo, they will hopefully be connected to the system, soon,” he said. Engineer Kato said apart from having adequate gas deposits, still Tanzania Electricity Company Limited and other industries consume only 26 per cent of the 350 million cubic feet, which the pipeline pumps, daily.
He further said TPDC continues negotiations with other stakeholders on the fertiliser factory establishment, saying the challenge remains on the gas price, hinting that a task force has been formed to handle the matter.
But, TPDC official said already the company, which will run the fertiliser plant has already been registered in the country as Tanzania Mbolea and Petrochemical Company (TAMPCO). It’s expected to create 3,500 jobs.
Official from Gas Supply Company Limited (GASCO), one of TPDC’s downstream directorates, Engineer Joseph Kavishe said the 551-kilometre Mtwara- Dar gas pipeline has 17 substations between Mtwara and Dar es Salaam.
He said Kinyerezi I power plant uses 30 million cubic feet a day, Kinyerezi II uses 33 million cubic feet and Ubungo uses 33 million cubic feet, totally consuming 96 million cubic feet, which is a mere 11 per cent of the pipeline capacity.
Chinese experts have been operating the project but starting this year, the project will be fully handed over to Tanzanian experts.