Songas to boost industrialization drive with 70MW additional power

06Sep 2019
Beatrice Philemon
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Songas to boost industrialization drive with 70MW additional power

GAS to power generating company, Songas Limited plans to increase generation of electricity from the current 180 megawatts to 250MW in the near future to help power the government’s industrialization agenda.

Songas Limited power plant at Ubungo in Dar es Salaam. File photo.

Songas Managing Director, Nigel Whittaker said in Dar es Salaam this week after presenting checks worth 8.8bn/- to state utility giant, Tanesco and Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation as dividend that his company will invest in increasing power generation.

“We are waiting for regulatory approvals to start generating the power,” said Whitaker whose company sells electricity to Tanesco which has the infrastructure to supply to consumers. In order to increase the generation, Songas needs Tanesco’s contractual endorsement to do so.

Whitaker whose company paid 2.2bn/- to Tanesco and 6.6bn/- to TPDC as dividend further noted that since 2012, Songas has paid 121.6bn/-as dividend to the government while another 139.3bn/- has been paid as corporate tax.

Currently TPDC has 28.69 percent shares at Songas while Tanesco has 9.56 percent and TDFL has 7.6 with UK based Globeleq having a controlling stake of 54.1 percent.

Currently Songas generates the country’s approximately 20 percent of electricity which is supplied to the national grid while also supplying natural gas to various manufacturing industries in Dar es Salaam since 2004, a move which has saved the more than 11trn/-. Additional the government also benefits from its 32 percent shareholding in TDFL which receives about 1.8bn/- in dividends.

On his part, Songas Chief Financial Officer, Anael Samuel said the company supports initiatives being taken by the government to lower power tariffs and spur industrialization. Samuel said decision to invest in Rufiji Hydro-electric Power Project at Stiegler’s Gorge on Rufiji River is an important milestone in realizing the industrialization agenda.

“Use of natural gas has helped government reduce the fossil fuel import bill for power generation by Tanesco which is why we have saved over 11trn/- since 2004,” the Songas CFO said noting that Songas is currently the cheapest thermal generator of electricity in East Africa.