TANZANIA Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) has started connecting Mkuranga based factories and residents to natural gas in a move to reduce production costs and improve people’s lives.
The latest development comes as the government, through TPDC, strives to avail investors in the country with conducive environment, including reliable and cheap supply of energy. Connection of factories based in Mkuranga, Coast Region, to the natural gas is a continuation of the government efforts to ensure manufacturers use gas to reduce operational costs, resulting into more prospective investors coming into the country.
Apart from supplying industries with natural gas, the government also plans to ensure residents are connected to natural gas for domestic use, as a strategy to help them improve their living standards.
Late last year, the then Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals Medard Kalemani told the National Assembly that plans were underway to connect residents of Mtwara and Lindi regions to the natural gas pipeline for domestic uses in this fiscal year.
Speaking to reporters here yesterday, TPDC Acting Managing Director, Engineer Kapuulya Musomba said the corporation managed to tap gas from the large pipeline that transports gas from Mtwara to Dar es Salaam by connecting another pipe capable of transmitting between 100 and 120 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd). Engineer Musomba said the amount of the gas is sufficient to cater for gas demand by all residents in Mkuranga District, according to their needs, be domestic, vehicle or industrial uses.
Three out of over 15 industries in Mkuranga that applied for gas connection were connected to the service and are expected to start running on natural gas within a three-month time.
“Our target is to propel the industrialisation drive. At TPDC, we have been doing whatever possible to ensure that there is sustainable natural gas for investors.
It is now up to them to bring their requests as the resource is here and we are able to consistently serve the public for over 40 years to come,” Engineer Musomba boasted. TPDC Acting Manager for Gas Business, Engineer Dora Ernest said the available resource was enough to serve everyone in need, saying estimations show that no institution could go beyond 0.6mmscfd use.
Asked on what TPDC has been doing to ensure every Tanzanian benefits from the natural gas, Engineer Ernest said the corporation plans to involve private investors in distribution of the resource countrywide.
“We can for instance set zones in Dar es Salaam, let’s say Ilala, Temeke and Ubungo and invite investors to apply for distribution in certain areas. Home users keep on applying for the services and there is enough resource,” she said.
She affirmed that over 70 homes in the City’s Ubungo and Kinondoni Municipalities were already connected to the resource and about 1,000 requests are on the waiting list.
About 40 industries and 70 vehicles were also already running on natural gas. The imminent beneficiary in Mkuranga, Managing Director for Knauf Gypsum Tanzania Limited Zachopoulos Georgios said availability of steady supply of natural gas will not only help industrialists to save money but also improve people’s lives.
He hinted that the supply of the resource has enticed him to introduce another industry which will be on operations soon after launching the gas pipeline.