Tanzania envisions to cut fuel imports by 28pc

ZANZIBAR: TANZANIA envisions to cut fuel imports by 28 per cent come 2050 following the increasing exploration and drilling of local natural gas.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Energy Dr Dotto Biteko revealed that Wednesday, after witnessing the signing of the cooperation agreement for the natural gas project in the Ruvuma block (Mainland) between the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) and Ndovu Gas Drilling Company.

The event also involved the signing of documents for establishing relations to build infrastructures to distribute the natural gas.

Dr Biteko is in Zanzibar for the 60th anniversary of the 1964 revolution celebrations which will climax tomorrow (January 12).

Elaborating, he said the government through his office has been taking different measures to ensure availability of natural gas for people and industries to reduce fuel dependence in the country.

“The strategy of the Ministry of Energy is to ensure the implementation of the gas policy, which includes ensuring wide distribution of clean energy and reaches various customers easily and affordably. As a nation we should look into things that will quickly get people out of poverty,” Dr Biteko said.

He said that currently 80 per cent of the gas produced in the country is used as a source of electricity to generate power, while 38 per cent is for industrial use and 10 per cent for domestic use.

In addition, Dr Biteko said that in order to reach many people, there is a need to covert gas into liquid and transport it in different parts of the country.

Explaining about the project, TPDC Director General Mr Mussa Makame said that the signed project will increase availability of natural gas and definitely contribute to the country’s economic growth.

He said that currently a total of 1.6 billion cubic feet have been explored and tested, adding that this year, TPDC, in collaboration with the companies that signed the agreement, has planned new drilling points to increase the amount of gas produced.

“The new project is expected to produce 60 million cubic feet per day up to 140 million feet in the first three years,” he said, adding that after completion of the contract will enable other activities to be carried out, including the drilling of wells to produce gas.

He said that under the new cooperation, there will be construction of infrastructures to collect gas from the wells, the infrastructure for initial transportation, including the construction of a 34-kilometre pipeline to transport gas from Gas collection point to the gas processing plant located in Mtwara.

As regards to the construction project of the infrastructure to convert natural gas into liquid, he said that the project will be the first to be implemented in the country and a milestone in the energy sector.

On his part, Mtwara Regional Commissioner (RC), Ahmed Abbas said that the project will be sustained for the people at the source of the gas drilling areas and the nation in general.

The gas agreement is the fourth to be signed to develop it and increase accessibility in domestic market, where the first project was signed in 2007, the second in 2011, and the third in 2016.

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