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Natural gas plan draft finalised

EFFORTS to ensure all citizens benefit from the country’s gas discovery is taking shape as preparations of a draft on Domestic Natural Gas Promotion Plan has been finalised.

The anticipated 250 million US dollar project which is equivalent to over 500bn/-will kick off as a pilot project in five regions-Arusha, Tanga, Kilimanjaro, Morogoro and Dodoma.

Deputy Minister of Energy Ms Subira Mgalu disclosed at an event to introduce the plan which was held in Dar es Salaam on Friday jointly organised with the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) which was responsible for conducting the study within a period of three years.

According to her, the plan will among other things stimulate the industrialisation drive, boost the agriculture sector and increase efficiency in domestic use.

“Utilisation of the discovered natural gas which accounts for over 57 trillion cubic feet requires proper planning which will cater for both export and domestic use in the various sectors. “For instance, the current gas consumption in power generation is 800 megawatts out of the 1,601 megawatts being produced in the country,” said Ms Mgalu.

Thus, the intention is to further reduce petroleum power generation and use in the vehicles, factories among other consumption options.

In making the plan viable, vehicles have started using gas in Dar es Salaam, whereby 200 cars have been installed with natural gas systems and more others will follow suit.

Besides, industries have also been installed with natural gas, citing an example of 50 factories responsible for the production of fertilisers.

She also hinted on domestic use, whereby gas use has helped in environmental conservation as people are now opting for cooking in their homes.

To support the process, she revealed that the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) has rolled out necessary infrastructure to cater for its supply in regions that include Dar es Salaam, Lindi, Mtwara and Coast.

Likewise, the intention is for TPDC to maintain its own blocks and start extracting gas for both import and export as the measure is to transform gas into liquefied forms for packaging, to ease its transportation.

“Considering the magnitude to the project, the discovered gas is anticipated to survive until the year 2046 since the kick start of the project in 2017,” she observed.

The Commissioner of Petroleum and Gas in the Ministry of Energy, Mr Adam Zuberi, stated that, the study was aimed at coming up with lucrative ways which can reach societies living in areas far from the gas pipeline.

Thus, the study had proposed gas to be processed into liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) at Kinyerezi and transported to users, terminals or gas-service stations by trucks, using containers that will be conditioned at satellite terminals for delivery.

He added: “Tanzania has not delayed to invest in natural gas; teams of exploration are still exploring for more areas with natural gas and to those areas discovered with natural gas, we are in talks with investors who are willingly to invest to our country for the benefit of all Tanzanians.”

The head of Domestic Natural Gas Promotion Plan (DNGPP) study, Kensuke Kanekiyo, told the media on the sidelines of the event that the study took three years at a cost of two million USD and it has proposed an approximate 200– 250 million USD amount to complete the first phase of the project.

Currently the pipeline channel has been constructed and the gas services have begun to be provided to residence in Dar es Salaam city.

But, if the study will be effective, its implementation enables Tanzania to become a gas society.

“Our assessment shows that this approach is quite viable but the next stage only requires the government of Tanzania to state how it will proceed with the next project. Japan will be ready to support the government of Tanzania, by providing programs to create awareness and increase workforce, engineers, business administration and so on, anywhere that it requires Japanese aid,” he added.

THE ruling party, CCM, has promised to open ...

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Author: ELKANA KUHENGA and MAUREEN ODUNGA

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