20 companies allowed to build compressed natural gas stations in Tanzania

What you need to know:

  • Some firms are owned and operated exclusively by locals, while others are partnerships between local and foreign investors

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) has given the go-ahead to 20 companies to build Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations as part of a larger initiative to deliver cleaner and more affordable energy.

TPDC’s Oil and Gas director Dr Wellington Hudson disclosed this during a news conference here yesterday.

He stated that some companies are entirely owned by local investors, while others are joint ventures involving local and foreign investors.

In the same line, he said that nine natural gas filling stations for vehicles will be built and completed over the next 24 months.

TPDC Oil and Gas director Dr Wellington Hudson talks during a press conference held yesterday in Dar es Salaam.  | PHOTO | MICHAEL MATEMANGA

“Two stations, which are being constructed by Taqa (Taqa Arabia) and Dalbit (Dalbit Petroleum) around the airport and Sinza opposite Sam Nujoma Road, will be ready before the end of this year,” said Dr Hudson.

These stations, he explained, will have workshops for converting vehicles to CNG system.  To make it even more interesting, he said, authorities have started to receive raw materials for the construction activities.

Within the set timeframe of two years, TPDC also intends to build a CNG mother station at Mlimani City that will enable large vehicles to pick up the gas from the station and distribute it to various regions where infrastructure has not yet been reached.

Dr Hudson added that this centre will be able to fill six vehicles with natural gas at once and enhance six lorries to pick up gas from the station and distribute it to other areas.

The mother station will also have a workshop for converting vehicles to CNG fuel. The government has already procured the contractor for the construction of the centre, he announced.

Other stations will be constructed in Bagamoyo by Turky Petroleum, two at Mkuranga by Anric Company and Dangote, and Goba by BQ Company.

Dr Hudson also used the press conference to explain the reason behind the current high queue at the Ubungo-based natural gas filling station.

He attributed the challenge to the faults in the CNG tanker that picks up the gas from the Ubungo station and distributes it to the Tazara-based Anric station.

This suggests that only one filling station of Ubungo is now working and all natural gas consumers have to get services from the same.

However, Dr Hudson said: “We are working on the problem and we expect the services to resume at the end of next week.”

“In the long run, we anticipate having enough of CNG stations within 24 months and addressing the current issues to enable more individuals to take advantage of the service.”  Awareness of the benefits of using compressed natural gas (CNG) to power vehicles is gaining momentum in Tanzania and thus, service providers now find it hard to keep pace with growing demand.

According to data available, approximately 1,000 vehicles had already been converted to run on CNG as of August last year.