ENERGY: A study will be conducted in the current financial year to establish the feasibility of extending the pipeline to Morogoro, Mwanza, Mbeya and Arusha
Dar es Salaam. The Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) is conducting a study with a view to extending the Mtwara-Dar es Salaam natural gas pipeline to other regions.
The study – to be conducted within the current financial year – targets to establish the feasibility of extending the pipeline to Morogoro, Mwanza, Mbeya and Arusha, the TPDC acting director general, Mr Kapuulya Musomba told BusinessWeek last week.
The study will be conducted in cooperation with the Ministry of Energy and Minerals and Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).
“The ultimate goal is to ensure that the pipeline serves other regions as well but we will start with the four regions first,” he said, declining to reveal the actual amount to be spent on the study.
TPDC, the Ministry of Energy and Minerals and Jica are currently preparing groundwork that will help them in identifying the right people to undertake the job (the study).
The study seeks to establish how the pipeline can be utilised to extend electricity networks across the country to stimulate industrialisation.
The construction of the $1.22 billion pipeline began in 2012 from Mtwara and Songo Songo to Dar es Salaam and was completed last year.
Its construction, together with gas processing plants at Madimba and Songo Songo Islands, are part of a plan to add about 2,000 megawatts of new gas-fired electricity generating power.
Currently, the 542-km gas pipeline is managed by Gas Supply Company Limited (Gasco) and benefits Mtwara, Lindi and Dar es Salaam regions only.
Its full capacity will however be reached by 2022 where most of the gas-fired plants will have been completed.
Currently, the gas pipeline is underutilised due to delays in the implementation of the gas-fired power plants.
Last year, the government launched a project to construct a plant that will generate 240 MW of power in what is commonly known as Kinyerezi II. The project – which will cost $432 million – is part of the several ventures in the endeavour to ensure that the gas pipeline is utilised.
Other gas-fired power projects include Kinyerezi III and IV. Upon completion of the projects, Tanzania will save up to $1 billion annually on oil imports for electricity generation.
TPDC is also planning to set up a $150 million to 200 million mega plant to enable the transportation of the natural gas to large-scale industries and households.
Mr Musomba said the completion of the pipeline will open opportunities of encouraging economic growth by connecting industries with reliable energy.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) will finance the project.