THE Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) is drafting a master plan for setting up infrastructure to supply natural gas to industries and houses in some regions.
Available statistics indicate this country currently uses just a tiny fraction of the resource - 70 million cubic feet out of the total capacity of 784 million cubic feet of the gas - from Mtwara and Songo Songo, a mere ten per cent that currently goes into power generation to some industries.
TPDC Acting Managing Director Eng. Kapuulya Musomba says that the envisaged infrastructure would facilitate better and cost-effective supply of gas.
"The plan is to have the infrastructure which will attract new industries ... (because) ... the real challenge is many of the existing factories are scattered," he explained.
Musomba made his remarks in response to queries by members of parliamentary budget committee who visited the natural gas receiving plants -- Kinyerezi I and Kinyerezi II gas-fired power generation plants.
The legislators led by committee chairperson Ms Hawa Ghasia had challenged TPDC "to scale-up" its pace of distributing gas to factories to support the government's industrialization plan.
"My committee will tour the entire route of the gas pipeline .. all the way from Mtwara ... (in order) to identify key projects along the line," Ms Ghasia explained.
Earlier, deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals Dr Medard Kalemani informed the MPs that 37 factories had since been connected to gas, and that plans were underway to connect an additional 40 industries.
" ... we have 57.3 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves ... this is more than enough power to meet domestic and industrial demand," Dr Kalemani explained.
The deputy minister further explained that execution of the four phases at Kinyerezi would produce over 1,175MW of electricity through natural gas.
At Kinyerezi II power plant, a project manager assured the MPs that 30MW of the 240MW would be fed into the national grid by next December.