Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) has invited local and foreign investors to undertake natural gas distribution projects in the country's commercial capital of Dar es Salaam and the emerging industrial zones in Coast Region.
Upon completion of the ambitious projects covering 65 kilometres, over 30,000 houses in surveyed areas in the city in addition to industries and natural gas compressing and filling stations will be supplied with the energy, the TPDC's Acting Managing Director, Engineer Kapuulya Musomba, stated yesterday.
Eng. Musomba pointed out that the 532-kilometre gas pipeline from Mtwara to Dar es Salaam provides immense opportunities for power generation and investments along the route. There is an existing gas 50-kilometre distribution network linking homes in Dar es Salaam.
In Mtwara and Lindi, the hosting regions for the large chunk of 57.25 trillion cubic feet which have so far been discovered onshore and offshore the Indian Ocean. In Mkuranga District, Coast Region, he said the national oil company had identified some 53 industries which will require the energy for production.
"We have already connected a pipeline to the newly established tile making factory, Goodwill Tanzania at a capacity of between 7 and 10 million cubic feet; We are in discussions with three other industries to be connected to the network," he explained.
Adding; "Plans are to expand the distribution network to Kibaha and Bagamoyo districts to spur industrialisation in Coast Region." The Petroleum Act of 2015 restructured TPDC into a national oil company dealing with only downstream and midstream operations and a watchdog for the upstream segment was introduced namely Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority (PURA).
"TPDC will procure a consultant in June, this year, to review a feasibility study conducted last year, the revised assessment will provide us with updated financial and technical requirement for the project in Dar es Salaam," he explained.
The expert noted as well that a feasibility study for Mtwara and Lindi regions was being finalised, after which it will be followed by environmental and social impact assessment. "Initial estimates that the distribution networks in the two regions will cover 31-kilometre of gas pipelines to homes, industries and filling stations for motor vehicles," Eng. Musomba elaborated.
For regions which are far from Dar es Salaam, the TPDC says it will transport the energy in form of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to Tanga, Morogoro and Dodoma.
The gas compressing plant at Ubungo in Dar es Salaam has the capacity to process between 1 and 1.5 million cubic feet of natural gas but the national oil gas is contemplating setting another plant to boost production, he explained.