Planning to propel CNG use in vehicles is good news  

On Friday, the government outlined measures it is instituting to encourage the use of natural gas in vehicles in the country.

One of the measures, according to the government, is to address tax issues in efforts to lower the cost of converting vehicles from gasoline consumption to compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

Speaking during the CEO Roundtable in Dar es Salaam on the role of private sector participation in current and projected energy sector projects Minister for Energy January Makamba said the government is also aware of the high cost of converting vehicles from gasoline consumption to compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

According to the minister, the government is engaging private sector so that it can invest in CNG infrastructure to make the service available across the country.

Available data show, charges for converting gasoline vehicles to CNG ranges between 1.5m/- and 2m/-, the cost which is seen to be a bit high for motorists to shoulder.

He further said the use of gas in vehicles and industries will not only create jobs and promote businesses but also will be a remedy to inflation brought about by soaring fuel prices.

Apart from engaging private sector in the CNG subsector and addressing the question of tax to lower the charges involved in installing the system, the minister insisted that the government has set aside funds t in this financial year for creating public awareness about the use of natural gas especially in converting their vehicles to CNG.

The minister expressed the government commitment to address financial and tax issues to reduce the cost of equipment needed for installing the CNG system, insisting that financial institutions will be engaged that they can provide loans to enable local investors execute CNG projects.

Given the skyrocketing fuel prices in the world, the measures outlined by the ministers are indeed welcomed simply because, experts say use of CNG is more economical compared to petrol and diesel as natural gas costs a lot less than the two fuel types.

They further assert that though natural gas is also a nonrenewable resource, and does pollute the environment, it is safer than both petrol and diesel for the planet because natural gas sends 25 per cent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

At individual level, the use of gas enables motorists to save money, directing it to other uses.

Tanzania’s natural gas reserves are estimated at 57 trillion cubic feet with a total annual production of 110 billion cubic feet from three fields: Songo Songo, Mnazi Bay, and Kiliwani North.

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