Mtwara. Energy minister Dr Medard Kalemani yesterday launched the first phase of a project, which will ensure that the Dangote Cement Plant accesses natural gas constantly.
The latest development is expected to cut production costs, which would be reflected in cement prices in the near future.
The project, which will be implemented in two phases, will be generating 45 megawatts by using three power generators with each having a capacity of producing 15 megawatts.
The company has been using coal and diesel in cement production, which consumes Sh354 million per day producing 2,500 tonnes.
Launching the project, Dr Kalemani said after the natural gas being connected to the plant, the government will ensure that the natural resource is profitably used to spur the growth of Tanzania’s economy.
According to him, there is 57.54 trillion cubic metres of gas currently, adding that 8.8 trillion cubic metres of gas would be used by industries while 4.3 trillion cubic metres would be used for power generation.
“Until now 40 companies have been connected to natural gas including Dangote. Last year we had 43 industries because some plants were closed for various reasons. However, we are still sensitizing other firms to use the natural gas in order to reduce their reduce their production costs,” said Dr Kalemani.
For his part, the acting executive director of Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), Mr Emmanuel Gilbert, said in the first phase of the project a total of Sh2 billion has been shelled out and that Dangote Cement Plant would be receiving 8 million cubic metres of natural gas worth $13 million. He elaborated that Phase II of the project would involve construction of a natural gas pipeline, infrastructures for reducing compression and measuring the quantity of gas available. The project will likely be completed at the end of October.
“Phase II of the project will involve the construction of a 2.7 kilometre pipeline to Dangote Cement Plant where natural gas will be used for various purposes. At least 17 million cubic metres of natural gas will be used per day,” said Gilbert.
For his part, Dangote Cement Plant executive general Jagat Rathee said the use of natural gas would reducing the production cost significantly.