M a r k e t N e w s

East Africa: Natural Gas Connections Vital Cog On the Path to Becoming East Africa's 'Power' House

Posted on : Thursday, 20th October 2016

Since sometime in 2012 or earlier than that, there were reports of the government's move to supply natural gas to homes--with a pilot project to connect homes in Mikocheni and international hotels.


The move was followed by inauguration of a distribution pipelines connecting homes and the hotels, raising new hopes of accessing the crucial energy more cheaply.


Three gas distribution centres are in place since 2014; in Sinza, Mwenge and Manzese section of Dar es Salaam City, according to media reports quoting Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) officials.


In most of the developed world, gas is supplied through pipes to homes. So far, according to reports, TPDC has already supplied natural gas to 38 local industries, 50 residential houses and one hotel in Dar es Salaam.


In addition to that, about 50 vehicles are now using natural gas. The recent announcement that factories and homes will soon be supplied with gas in three regions is indeed good news for the public.


It was reported recently that after completion of the construction of the 542-kilometre gas pipeline from Mtwara to Dar es Salaam TPDC now plans to put up a 150-200 million US dollars (or 430bn/-) mega plant to facilitate the transportation of the natural gas to large-scale industries and households.


Acting TPDC Managing Director, Engineer Kapuulya Musomba, said that the regions that will benefit from the new project include Mtwara, Lindi, Kilwa and Dar es Salaam.


The TPDC chief made the remarks when signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the contractor of the 542-kilometre gas pipeline, China Petroleum and Technology Development Company (CPTDC), who handed over the gas pipeline following its completion.


Eng Musomba said already a feasibility studies has been conducted to put up the infrastructure to connect the areas, noting that construction is due to start in the next financial year and that the African Development Bank (AfDB) would finance the project.


Those targeted to benefit from the gas supply project, include large and small scale industries and the majority of households including; Dangote Cement, EPZA in Bagamoyo and Bakhresa Company in Mkuranga District.


The move by government to embark on supplying factories and homes with gas is welcome as it would mean access to clean energy for both cooking and running the industries.


This would mean that as the project expands to include other regions, there will be less use of charcoal. There will be less damage to the environment, as the energy is made up of methane and results in less carbon emissions, according to experts, emissions of carbon dioxide are 45% lesser than other conventional fuels and 30% less than oil.


Natural gas can be piped into houses for cooking purposes and running a variety of appliances and where there are no pipes, it can be supplied in small tanks. Natural gas is an economic and instant fuel for heating water and large areas as well as cooking. It is ideal because it provides precise control and quick results. It helps in oven cooking as it does not require pre-heating.


The move could also see prices of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) going down further and more accessible to the public. Already, some 50 per cent of electricity is now generated by natural gas supplied from Mtwara Region, meaning steady supply of electricity not only to industries but also to homes.


Some experts notes that after the start of major production of natural gas in the next ten to 15 years, the gas sector is poised to over-take the mining sector's contribution to the national economy.


The rising global energy demand has given natural gas a strategic importance, putting Tanzania in the spotlight due to its discovery of its massive natural gas in excess of 57tcf, which, if carefully managed, can transform the country's economy from a poor country to a developed country within a few decades.


It is clear that Tanzania is on the move --as can be noted that it started slowly compared to its neighbours. But the country is catching up and is now galloping ahead on the path to becoming East Africa's power house.

Source : allafrica.com
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