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Pinda: East Africa needs USD64bn in power generation

8th February 2013
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Prime Minister, Mizengo Pinda

The East African region needs USD64bn to implement joint power generation projects in the next 25 years to increase the region's installed electricity generation, Tanzanian Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda said on Wednesday.

Opening the sixth East African Petroleum Conference, Pinda said the regional power master plan will increase the region's power generation to nearly 30,000 megawatts (MW) by 2038 from around 3, 670 MW at present.

The plan has taken into account the region's rising power needs between 2013 and 2038, he said, adding that some 14 billion US dollars would be required in the next five years.

"It has also identified generation and transmission projects that will most optimally meet the demand," the prime minister said.

He said besides the plan for electricity, the East African Community (EAC) plans to develop two other plans in the energy sector, specifically for fossil fuels and renewable energy.

He added that investors and multinational corporations should support the East African region in the exploitation of its fossil fuel resources because the region has great potential.

On petroleum, Pinda said the vast reserves of oil and gas have boosted the profile of the region as a promising and attractive destination for petroleum prospecting.

The oil wells drilled in the East African region have increased to 158 from 58 in 2003.

Uganda, which set to become the first country to start commercial exploitation of petroleum in the region, had drilled only two wells in 2003 but have now shot up to 64 wells.

Songo Songo and Mnazi Bay were once the only gas discoveries in Tanzania. However, natural gas reserves amounting to nearly 40 trillion cubic feet were discovered recently in the deep sea off the coast of Lindi and Mtwara regions.

The conference is being attended by 1,000 energy experts, representatives of oil companies and representatives from the five EAC partner states as the region had become an important zone for investments because of oil and gas discoveries.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN