Demand for clean energy is increasing rapidly in the country and worldwide with consumers looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and cost of living.
This presents an opportunity for investors to invest in compressed natural gas (CNG) refuelling infrastructure and distribution networks, providing a convenient and accessible option for consumers.
The CNG-powered passenger vehicles are estimated to emit about 25 per cent less CO2, whereby CNG is on average, 50 per cent cheaper for the consumer than liquid fuel.
The Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) in March this year licensed 20 companies to build CNG stations. Nine of those are expected to be operational by 2025.
Statistics show that over 2000 vehicles are already CNG-powered in the country and that plans are underway to convert the government vehicles into using natural gas.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy Dr Doto Biteko said at the launch of the CNG filling station and conversion center-TAQA Arabia in Dar es Salaam that the filling station will increase the consumption of clean energy that has minimal carbon content and is environmentally friendly.
“We are on the cusp of a transformative shift in Tanzania’s energy landscape. With the dedication and foresight of industry leaders, we are ushering in an era of sustainable energy solutions,” he said.
He added, “The new CNG filling station and conversion centre is a monumental achievement by TAQA Dalbit, demonstrating our nation’s technological prowess and commitment to a sustainable, greener, and economically efficient future,”
On another development, the Government Procurement Services Agency (GPSA) said recently that in this fiscal year plans to start three pilot CNG filling stations in Dar es Salaam, Morogoro and Dodoma.
The GPSA Acting Head of Communication and Marketing, Mr Peter Mayila said the implementation of this project aimed at making all government vehicles use CNG to cut petroleum products costs.
“Preparations for the project are progressing well and soon the government vehicles will be turned into using green fuel, the CNG, that will play a key role in slashing down fuel costs,” he said.
The government continues to encourage Tanzanians to opt for it since the price of fuel on the global market is still high.
Even 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.
According to Pan African Energy Tanzania Limited (PAET), the subsidiary of Orca Energy, motorists can absorb the shocks of the rising fuel prices by increasing the use of CNG in vehicles.
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.
This is an area that needs huge investment to make sure CNG for use in vehicles is made available in different parts of the country.
There is a need to build a huge network of retail gas stations across the country for which motorists can easily refuel their vehicles.
This development highlights the increasing demand for a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective fuel alternative for motorists in Tanzania.
The recently launched CNG station along Nyerere Road in Dar es Salaam supplied with Natural Gas from the Songo Songo gas field operated by PAET is capable of servicing up to 800 vehicles each day.
The new station is essential in offering this vital service to customers, presenting a cost-efficient substitute during times of escalating living costs.
The city had only two other CNG stations before, so the addition of a third one is beneficial. All three stations use Songo Songo Natural Gas supplied by PAET.
There is no other gas producer in the country that offers the public the direct advantages of Tanzania’s abundant natural resources in such a way.
The use of CNG as a fuel for vehicles is gaining popularity among individuals and businesses in Tanzania, seeking to lessen their environmental footprint and reduce operational costs.
Tanzanian drivers embracing CNG not only experience financial benefits but also enjoy the peace of mind that comes with decreased wear and tear on their vehicles.
Speaking of the benefits of CNG, Mr Said Nsubuga, an Uber driver in the city said, “The cost of running my car on CNG is far lower than using petrol.
For example, the cost of three kilogrammes of CNG is equivalent to the cost of one litre of petrol and a kilogramme of gas will get me 25 kilometres while a litre of petrol only gets me 12 kilometres.
A quick calculation indicates that the cost of conventional fuels compared to CNG needed in this scenario to travel the same distance, is around 440 per cent or over four times more expensive for drivers.
In addition to the economic advantages, CNG offers notable benefits for engine maintenance and wear and tear. The cleaner combustion of CNG results in reduced carbon deposits and contaminants in the engine, leading to lower maintenance costs and longer engine life.
“When I was using petrol, I had to service my car every 3,000 kilometres, but now that I have switched to CNG I drive more than that between service requirements,” he said.