27 March 2014

Tanzania: Mtwara Gas Project Execution Pleases State

THE government says the execution of the 542-km gas pipeline from Mtwara to Dar es Salaam and the 150MW gas fired power plant at Kinyerezi 1 was in line with the Big Results Now (BRN) targets.

The Kinyerezi 1 is expected to be completed before year end while Kinyerezi 2 and 3 will takeoff later this year. Implementation of the projects will not only call to an end the long lasting problems of power blues in the country but also spurring economic activities in the country.

This was said on Wednesday by the Chief Secretary Ambassador Ombeni Sefue in his concluding remarks to wind up a two day tour in gas rich regions of Mtwara and Lindi to inspect the progress of the gas projects including the pipeline to Dar es Salaam, gas processing plants and cement factories.

"The execution of the gas processing plants and the pipeline to Dar es Salaam would ensure diverse sources of energy to the country that has been investing heavily its scarce resources on oil turbines," said ambassador Sefue flanked by a number of permanent secretaries and other government officials.

He added, "The government was satisfied with the speed with which the project is being implemented but urged the projects coordinators to ensure all precautionary measures are in place to avoid falling into past mistakes."

He said the gas economy should become not only catalyst to economic growth but involve people more closely in identifying lucrative opportunities for them to enterprise in various manufacturing activities.

Ambassador Sefue said construction of the Songosongo gas processing plant which is 100 per cent government owned was a good example of the project involving very closely the indigenous communities in its execution.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Minerals Mr Eliakim Maswi said his ministry would continue keeping a close eye to ensure all the projects are successfully implemented.

When all the projects are completed, he said, power tariffs will definitely go down to between 10 to 20 cents of US dollars from about 40 to 50 cents of US dollars per unit of electricity.

Also, execution of the mega projects will go a long way towards boosting power generation and solve electricity shortages.

The government has been spending over 1tri/- annually to the State run power company (Tanesco) for running oil turbines at Tegeta and Ubungo.

Tanesco's Managing Director Mr Felchesmi Mramba said before year end, some gas turbines at Kinyerezi would start generating electricity that would slowly help the government save around 3bn /- spent daily in all fuel turbines spread across the country.

"Presently, natural gas accounts for between 40-45 per cent of power generation in the country but the rate will increase to about 80 per cent when the projects are completed," he said.

The Mtwara Regional Commissioner Mr Joseph Simbakalia, said the visit by the ministry's executives was historic to the gas rich regions and would speed up the projects implementation, some of which need clearance or guidance from them.

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