28 January 2013

Tanzania: U.S Study Finds Gas Cheaper Than Power Transmission

Photo: Capital FM
A natural gas plant: Mtwara residents in Tanzania are protesting the governments plans to pump natural gas to Dar es Salaam through their town.

CONSTRUCTION of natural gas pipelines in the country could be between 50 to 60 per cent cheaper than the building power transmission lines, a joint study by Bonneville Power Administration and North West Gas Association in the United States shows.

In a report titled, "Comparing pipes and wires," a capital cost analysis of energy transmission via natural gas pipelines and overhead electric wire lines, said at the most basic level, capital cost per mile of building gas pipelines is 1.004 million US dollars (over 1.61bn/-) compared 1.99 million US dollars (over 3.2bn/-) for electricity transmission lines.

"This implies that, generally speaking the construction of gas pipelines would be more economical than constructing of electric transmission lines," the report stated. The report findings reveal that the physics, associated benefits and availability of either adjacent pipelines or electrical interconnections are so caseand site-specific, it is not possible to conclude that one system is preferable to the other without studying a specific case.

"The simple example assumes that the market for new energy is in one location. If multiple markets exist (such as west-side load areas in winter, California load areas in summer), this comparison becomes more complex," it noted.

The report further said in addition, the annual cost of operating and maintaining the generic wire transmission line is nearly half the cost to operate and maintain the generic gas pipeline.

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