BY LYDIA SHEKIGHENDA
30th September 2011
Energy and Minerals minister William Ngeleja briefs journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday on plans to generate 3,900 MW using natural gas. To his right is the ministry's permanent secretary, Eliakim Maswi.
Tanzania and China have signed a USD1.0 billion agreement for the construction of a 532-km gas pipeline from Mnazi Bay and Songo Songo to Dar es Salaam in efforts to ease power shortage in the country.
The pact also involves the construction of two gas processing plants able to generate 3,900 megawatts.
Energy and Minerals minister William Ngeleja told journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the contract was signed in Beijing on Tuesday after the government of Tanzania convinced China's Exim Bank to provide it with a soft loan.
He said Tanzania will contribute one-tenth of the total cost, with the Chinese government covering the remaining 90 per cent, adding that implementation of the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) pact envisages increased production of gas to be used in generating power in the country.
According to the minister, the project will be implemented in two phases – the first involving the construction of a 24-inch gas cylinder for the 25km from Songo Songo Island to Somanga Fungu in Kilwa District and a 36-inch gas pipeline for the 207 km from Somanga Fungu to Dar es Salaam.
He said the second phase would meanwhile entail the construction of a 36-inch gas pipeline for the 285km from Mnazi Bay to Somanga Fungu.
He noted that preparations for the implementation of the project would start in the second week of next month, with experts from the China Petroleum Technology and Development Corporation (CPTDC) conducting a feasibility study.
"Experts from (Tanzania's) Ardhi University have started carrying out Environment and Social Impact Assessment in the areas where the gas pipeline will pass. The government has already set aside 6.5bn/- for use by the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) in implementing the work, including compensating people who will be affected by the project," explained Ngeleja.
He said the project was officially scheduled for completion by March 2013 but owing to the seriousness of the power crisis facing the county, the government had requested CPTDC to speed up the construction and have the project done by December 2012.
"The completion of the project will enable the 36-inch gas cylinder to produce 784 million standard cubic feet of gas per day capable of powering 3,900 MW," he said.
He also pointed out that the new demand for power generated from natural gas is estimated to reach 1,583MW by 2015, adding that the current demand countrywide does not exceed 1,000MW.
The minister also noted that all that Tanzania currently has is a 16-inch pipeline capable of transporting 105 million standard cubic feet of gas per day.
He said that infrastructure for the project will be wholly owned by the government through TPDC.
Meanwhile, minister Ngeleja said the government is contemplating measures to take after receiving an official report on the High Court decision to register a 94bn/- award settlement applied for by Dowans Holding SA and Dowans Tanzania Limited against the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco).
"I have just read the news in the media and I am waiting for the official report to reach my table and, as a government, we will thereafter decide what to do next," he said.
On Wednesday the High Court registered the hotly contested 94bn/- award settlement applied for by Dowans Holding SA and Dowans Tanzania Limited against Tanesco, bringing to the fore the issue of who would pay the hefty amount of money.
The High Court threw out an objection filed by Tanesco against the registration of the award. It also ordered Tanesco to pay the cost Dowans incurred on the case.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN