Energy mix saves Dar from load shedding

Energy mix saves Dar from load shedding

The country energy mix system has paid off after managing to offset power rationing due to dependence on a single source—hydro plants.

The energy mix not only upped power generation to a currently installed capacity of over 1,601.84 megawatts (MW) as of April but also improved the quality of electricity supplied.

The country's electricity is mainly generated using gas and hydropower plants. Natural gas contributes a big share of 892.72MW, hydro-plants 573.70MW, while heavy oil and biomass make up of 88.80MW and 10.50MW, respectively.

Songas, one of such government initiatives gas-powered projects to diversify energy sources bridges the deficits and becomes the anchor of alternative supply.

The Songas Managing Director, Mr Anael Samuel, said the energy firm was created by the government in a bid to utilise the country resources appropriately and bring about country’s economic growth.

"This is role model project that technically is owned by three governments—UK, Norway and Tanzania.

"The government wanted to have a firm that will utilise its resources to push up growth in partnership with the private sector," Mr Samuel told Daily News in an interview yesterday.

The government owns over 40 per cent of the Songas, through Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), Tanzania Development Finance Company Limited (TDFL) and Tanesco. Norwegian's Norfund over 16 per cent and UK under CDC fund almost 40 per cent through Globeleq.

"Apart from paying dividends to the government, the project contributes to the economy massively... manages to improve quality, stabilise power hence strengthen industrial output.

“Songas has been very beneficial in terms of vital power-generation capacity," Mr Samuel, is the first Tanzanian CEO of Songas since last February said.

Songas, leading gas-to-power company in the country,  apart from helping the nation, not to over-rely on hydro generation also the government share of the firm’s profits is over 60 per cent, through taxes and dividends.

The energy firm that out of 300bn/- paid, 154bn/- has been paid to the government through its agencies in a way of dividends.

Songas supplies 180MW, which is almost a quarter of the total gas-powered electricity from Ubungo Power Plant.

The third five-year development plan issued recently said the sector must be strategic by expediting petroleum and gas upstream, midstream and downstream activities and improving enabling environment for private sector investment in the energy sector.

“This is an enabling sector which supports manufacturing, transportation, trading and other social-economic activities,” the five years plan document showed.

Songo Songo gas-to-power project provides jobs for over 100 Tanzanians including 74 at Songas of which 18 per cent are women and 40-60 per cent at senior level in favour of male, plus 119 interns has been trained as of last year.

Since July 2004, Songas has been a key provider of essential electricity to the country grid and its facility continues to supply the most cost-effective energy to the region and provides an alternative source of generation.

The firm uses gas from the Songo Songo gas reserves, Songas also processes and transports natural gas to other power generators and industrial customers.


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