Dar es Salaam — The national power grid will have an additional 240 megawatts (MW) when the Kinyerezi II power project is completed next month, the site's general manager, Mr Shoji Watababe, confirmed yesterday during a two-day oil and gas congress.
"We are currently working on a few technical issues before completing the project. The work plan shows that until next month, the project will be concluded," he assured the audience at the congress.
Mr Watanabe said this is the first combined cycle plant to be constructed in Tanzania and East Africa at large, which upon its completion, between 30 and 240 MW will be supplied to the national grid.
The $432 million (approximately Sh986 billion) project has created jobs to 1,500 Tanzanians and at least 1,000 indirect employments during the two years and five months of its implementation, he said.
The construction works commenced in 2016 with the government contributing 15 per cent of the total funding of the project while the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and the Sumitomo Mitsui Corporation financed the investment by 85 per cent.
Once the project becomes fully operational, it will add 36 million standard cubic feet per day to the daily national gas demand.
So far, total power generation stands at 1,513.3 MW, but 782.82 MW of it is generated from natural gas, according to Tanzania Electric Supply Corporation (Tanesco) chairman of board of directors Alexander Kyaruzi.
"More than 50 per cent of national electricity capacity is generated from nine natural gas projects at the moment. We also expect to implement other gas-powered projects including the Kinyerezi III and IV," Dr Kyaruzi.
Upon the completion of the projects, the nation would save up to $1 billion (about 2.3 trillion) annually on oil imports for electricity generation.
As things stand, Dr Kyaruzi added that the government's ambition is to generate at least 5,000 MW in 2020 and 10,000 MW in 2025.
So far, Tanesco is the major buyer and consumer of natural gas, taking an average of 90 million standard cubic feet a day, according to TPDC.
The country has saved at least Sh22.1 trillion from 2004 to 2017 by using natural gas for power production, consuming 337.58 million standard cubic feet.