DAILY NEWS Reporter
16 April 2018
POWER generation through natural gas has helped the government to save 10 billion US dollars (over 22tri/-) in 13-year period, according to Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC).
The government saved amount after it started using natural gas in power generation in 2004 to December 2017. TPDC’s researcher Engineer Aristides Kato said over the weekend that during the period, the country gained other opportunities, thanks to the presence of natural gas.
He named the opportunities as establishment of construction companies, creation of job opportunities, port improvement, establishment of security companies and various colleges.
Speaking at a TPDC organised seminar for editors and journalists on the corporation’s strategic plans ahead of building up an industrial economic country, Engineer Kato said so far 50 per cent of electricity in the country is generated from natural gas.
At least 37 big industries and three institutions use natural gas to run their daily operations, he said, adding that already TPDC has started receiving requests from various industries seeking connection to the Mtwara- Dar es salaam gas pipeline. Already Goodwill tiles factory in Mkuranga District, Coast region has been connected to the system.
“We are negotiating with many other industries in Mkuranga and Bagamoyo, they will hopefully be connected to the system, soon,” he said. Engineer Kato said apart from having adequate gas deposits, still Tanzania Electricity Company Limited and other industries consume only 26 per cent of the 350 million cubic feet, which the pipeline pumps, daily.
He further said TPDC continues negotiations with other stakeholders on the fertiliser factory establishment, saying the challenge remains on the gas price, hinting that a task force has been formed to handle the matter.
But, TPDC official said already the company, which will run the fertiliser plant has already been registered in the country as Tanzania Mbolea and Petrochemical Company (TAMPCO). It’s expected to create 3,500 jobs.
Official from Gas Supply Company Limited (GASCO), one of TPDC’s downstream directorates, Engineer Joseph Kavishe said the 551-kilometre Mtwara- Dar gas pipeline has 17 substations between Mtwara and Dar es Salaam.
He said Kinyerezi I power plant uses 30 million cubic feet a day, Kinyerezi II uses 33 million cubic feet and Ubungo uses 33 million cubic feet, totally consuming 96 million cubic feet, which is a mere 11 per cent of the pipeline capacity.
Chinese experts have been operating the project but starting this year, the project will be fully handed over to Tanzanian experts.
In another development Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) plans to engage private firms in natural gas business to reinforce supply and uses of natural gas for vehicles and homes.
The first phase is set to kick off in Dar es Salaam later this year by involving Ilala, Kinondoni, Ubungo, Temeke and Kigamboni districts. TPDC official Engineer Aristides Kato said over the weekend that the government will enter into agreements with private companies on the business operation.
He said the parties will agree on the specific time for the private companies to invest by building up infrastructure and selling natural gas. Engineer Kato said after the agreed time is due, the infrastructure will be retained by the government through TPDC. According to the official, interested investors must be well equipped financially and technologically.
“The company must be able to apply modern technology in supplying gas to wananchi at cheap prices,” he said. He said wananchi will spend an average of 1000/- per day on natural gas upon completion of the entire procedures of supplying gas into their homes.
“For a family of five people, an average of 30,000/- is estimated to be the amount of money that will be spent on purchasing natural gas...this will be cheaper than the current price,” he said.
He said the 12 inch natural gas pipe from Ubungo to Mikocheni, measuring 6.2 kilometres, has been connected to at least 70 houses, five industries and one gas filling station, with 60 vehicles that have been modified to use natural gas.