Natural gas find saves 15 trillion/-

THE Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) said the government has saved over 7.4 billion US dollars (15 trillion/-) from importing fuels to generate electricity and heat, thanks to the discovery and commercial production of natural gas.

The country’s petroleum industry regulator said since 2004 through 2015, the government had saved about 7.408 billion US dollars, formally spent in the importation of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO), diesel, petrol or jet fuel.

“The discovery of natural gas has accelerated promotion of industrial sector in the country,” TPDC Senior Research Officer Aristides Katto told a News and Editorial Symposium on Oil and Gas held in Bagamoyo over the weekend.

He further reported that during the year under review, about 6.754 billion US dollars was for electricity, 653.48 million US dollars for industries and as 278,455 spent by institutions.

The TPDC official said at the event jointly organised by the Journalists Environmental Association of Tanzania (JET) and Natural Resources Governance Institute (NRGI) the country should get ready for massive industrial investments with a 2 billion-US dollar fertiliser plant lined up for Lindi getting underway.

“The land for the project has already been acquired in Kilwa Masoko. The plant will have an installed capacity to produce 2,200 and 3,850 metric tons of ammonia and urea per day respectively,” he said.

According to the official, TPDC is currently in negotiation with Ferrostaal Industrial Projects that won a tender to implement the project. The project will require gas at a rate of 104 mmscfd for 20 years and employing over 5,000 people, he said.

The 104mmscfd is a huge amount of gas required to power the projected state of the art facility and implementing partners will need a relatively cheap gas to commence production, experts suggested .

However, it came to light that TPDC is still working with its partners to register a joint venture company -- Tanzania Mbolea and Petrochemical Company(TAMPCO), which will collaborate with Ferrostaal Industrial Projects GmbH of German, Fauji Fertiliser Company from Pakistan and Haldor Topsoe of Denmark to execute the project.

At least 50 per cent of power generated from natural gas is consumed by the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) while the remaining is used as heating source in industries, feedstock in petrochemical industries, cooking to households and fuel for vehicles using CNG.

The regulator maintained that it was in talks with development partners to raise funds for the installation of about 15 refuelling stations in Dar es Salaam, connect 30,000 households and serve some 8,000 vehicles in the city.

Feasibility studies for the project and a detailed engineering design have been completed with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) expressing interest to finance the project.

Meanwhile, JET Executive Director Mr John Chikomo, said about 25 editors had attended the training. He said in four years now, JET has been engaged in building the capacity of Tanzanian journalists to understand issues in the extractive sectors, analyse them and publish their stories through the various media outlets with the aim of instituting good governance.

“There is a significant change in Tanzanian media’s landscape with stories and features on the extractive sectors grabbing more headlines and taking more space and airtime,” he said adding over 50 journalists have been extensively trained in reporting extractives.

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