PLANS for East Africa gas pipeline have taken another step closer to fruition as the government announced tender for consultancy of a feasibility study of the project that will involve construction of the pipeline from Dar es Salaam to Uganda via Tanga and Kagera regions.
The proposed natural gas pipeline will help Uganda to tap into Tanzania’s huge natural gas reserve of over 57 trillion cubic feet (tcf) for heating the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) from Hoima to Tanga, according to government reports.
It will also provide Uganda with natural gas for their steel industries which have benefitted from iron ore deposits in the south western region; among the highest quality iron ores in the world.
It has emerged that the natural gas resources in Tanzania can be used by Uganda to enable the flow of the crude oil from Hoima to Tanga and as well be used to develop Uganda’s iron ore.
The development was revealed by the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) General Manager, John Bosco Habumugisha, one of the panel discussants at the Second Annual Africa Energy Forum in Kampala this year.
East Africans will definitely be interested to get updates of this proposed project as it marks another significant point in deepening of commercial ties between the two countries in the energy sector whose potential has been boosted by substantial oil deposits found in Uganda and major gas reserves discovered in Tanzania.
Steel imports in the East Africa is on increase as currently members states developing mega infrastructure projects in energy and transport sectors.
It is expected that the planned gas pipeline will be crucial as developing a strong integrated iron and steel industry will not only facilitate industrial take off in the region but also lead to saving of forex expenditure, increase employment opportunities and form a strong basis to support the growth of other sectors through forward back ward linkages.