Dar es Salaam. The government has reiterated its commitment to implement the 2,100MW Stiegler’s Gorge power generation project, saying it has come at the right time.
Deputy minister for the ministry of Minerals Subira Mgalu recapped the government’s commitment in the parliament yesterday during the questions and answers session when responding to a question by Kawe legislator Halima Mdee (Chadema).
Ms Mdee sought to know how far power generation using natural gas from Mtwara has reached and where the Stiegler’s Gorge project will start from.
The firebrand opposition MP also demanded to know why natural gas utilisation stands at 5 per cent, adding that the government should also come with clear answers on failure to transport the remaining 95 per cent of natural gas using the pipeline that has spent billions of dollars in its construction.
In her response, Ms Mgalu said the country cannot sustain its electricity demands depending on one source of power, noting that water, natural gas and other sources should collectively be used to fulfil the country’s demands.
“Since the government intends to produce 5,000MW of electricity to sustain its industrialisation agenda, the Stiegler’s Gorge power project has come at the right time.
Hydroelectric power generation is cheap, requiring Sh36 per unit as compared to natural gas power generation that needs Sh147 per unit, she said.
According to her, the government intended to produce power at a low cost and reach final consumers at a low cost in order to support the country’s industrialisation drive.
Ms Mgalu said though over 50 per cent of electricity generated in the country came from natural gas, other sources of electricity production should be effectively used to sustain to the country’s demand.
She said the government was implementing natural gas power generation projects in Mtwara and Somanga Fungu, which are expected to generate 330 MW and 330MW of electricity respectively.
“Currently, 175 million cubic litres of natural gas is transported through the pipeline as compared to 145 million cubic litres transported during the 2016/17 financial year. This suggests that natural gas demands has drastically increased in the country.