NATURAL gas in Tanzania has attracted a company from Germany which intends to invest over one billion US dollars in establishing a fertilizer plant in the country.
Speaking in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Ferrostaal's Head of Project Development and Sales (Chemicals) Mr Stefan Kratz said his company on Friday held a pre-bid meeting with Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) officials.
"We have gathered a lot of information from TPDC that will enable us submit our tender bid in April this year as required," said Mr Kratz. He added that the availability of natural gas in some parts of Mtwara and Lindi regions can help Tanzania get quality industrial fertilizer that will be cheaper than other stimulant brands currently on sale in the Tanzanian market.
According to the TPDC Director of Marketing and Investments Ms. Joyce Kisamo, the government wants to get an experienced company that will produce fertilizer and sell it at affordable prices to farmers countrywide.
"We have the task of scrutinising carefully the companies that will submit their tenders in April, to make sure that only a reputable company with reliable technology and in good financial stability wins the tender," she said.
According to Ms. Kisamo, reliable water supply, infrastructure, and area's accessibility were among the conditions required before a company builds a fertilizer industry in areas where natural gas has been discovered.
Ferrostaal is a provider of industrial services based in Germany that serves customers in more than 60 countries worldwide. The company providesindustrial services in two areas: Projects (Petrochemicals, Industrial Plants, Solar Energy and Power) and Services (Equipment, Piping, and Automotive).
In the world today, low natural gas prices and increased supply resulting from an expanding gas industry have created new opportunities in other sectors such as the fertilizer industry where a string of new nitrogen fertilizer plants are being planned.
Approximately 80 per cent of the cost of producing nitrogen is the cost of natural gas simply because natural gas is the key ingredient to producing nitrogen fertilizer.
Experts say that the trend toward cheaper natural gas incentivises growth in domestic fertilizer production, thus limiting the demand for fertilizer imports.