UGANDA has officially requested Tanzania to supply natural gas to help power its’s iron and steel industry.
President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda said in Dar es Salaam on Thursday, two eastern African countries, Tanzania and Mozambique had the largest proven natural gas reserves “and we need gas.”
He was in Tanzania to sign the Host Government Agreement (HGA) for the construction of a 4.16billion US dollars electrically heated pipeline to carry oil from Western Uganda to the Indian Ocean coast in Tanzania.
“Uganda has natural gas, but not as much as that available in Tanzania or Mozambique. We need the gas for the steel industry to remove oxygen from iron ore,” he said.
The two countries are working together to implement the 1,440-kilometer-long crude oil pipeline and Museveni believes the corridor can be intertwined with additional pipeline to supply natural gas back to the great lake countries.
The gas would also help manufacture fertilizer. It can be used for other domestic purposes such as cooking. Uganda said it has made discoveries of phosphate and potassium minerals but lacked proper source of nitrogen to produce fertilizers.
President Samia Suluhu Hassan, acknowledged that the implementation of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline will unlock a lot social and economic potentials in the region.
The President said Tanzania which has more experience in such projects, is expected to also build a natural gas pipeline from Dar es Salaam to Mombasa in Kenya.
Tanzania has an estimated recoverable reserve of over 57.54 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas. It built its first natural gas pipeline from the natural gas rich region of Mtwara to Dar es Salaam which is currently used for generating electricity, running manufacturing plants and home use.
Energy Minister Dr Medard Kalemani announced this year, Tanzania expects to start building the long-delayed 30 billion US dollar liquefied natural gas (LNG) project by next year but the 1.9 billion US dollar fertilizer plant will be built this year.