Dar es Salaam. An Egyptian investor plans to set up a $25 million (about Sh57 billion) factory that will produce multi-purpose gas cylinders and tanks at Mkuranga.
The Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (Investment), Ms Angellah Kairuki, said the investment by M/s Supreme Holdings will relieve Tanzania of the need to import such cylinders from other countries.
“Upon the start of production, it will employ 300 Tanzanians and 30 Egyptians,” she said, shortly after holding discussions with a director from the company, Dr Moharram Helal.
She did not state when the construction of the plant will start.
The proposed plant will produce 1,000 cylinders and tanks daily. It will also have the capacity of filling 3,000 cylinders with capacities of between 15 and 30 kilogrammes per day.
Data from the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (Ewura) shows that the use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has been on the rise in Tanzania in recent years, thanks to government’s public awareness efforts on the benefits of using the product compared to traditional fuels such as charcoal and firewood.
From a measly 8,000 tonnes per year in 2008, LPG marketers imported a total of 107,083 tonnes during the 2016/17 financial year before the volume rose by 13 per cent to 120, 961 tonnes in the 2017/18 financial year. Imports are currently estimated at about 145,000 tonnes.
In a deliberate move to capture the wider market of average Tanzanians, the government has asked the investor to consider producing cylinders with capacities below 15 kilogrammes.
Most average Tanzanians use gas cylinders of between six and 15 kilogrammes.
“We consider a plant of this nature a very important strategic investment,” Ms Kairuki said.
She called on the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) to give the investor all the necessary help, and also asked investors to deal directly with the TIC instead of using middlemen.
Dr Helal said Tanzania was a good place for investment.
“We have come to Tanzania because we have a wealth of experience in this area. Once the procedures are completed, we shall build the plant within a very short period,” said Dr Helal.