Speaking during the unveiling of the draft report of the Natural Gas Utilisation Master Plan in Dar es Salaam, Deputy Minister for Energy Subira Mgalu said the study has found that it is possible to distribute gas countrywide without having the pipeline in place.
The research conducted by the Institute of Energy Economics of Japan (IEEJ) established that it is possible to construct stations in various parts of the country for the gas to be transported there from areas with infrastructure and distributed for domestic, industrial as well as vehicle consumption.
Phase one of the study was undertaken in Arusha, Dodoma, Kilimanjaro, Morogoro and Tanga regions, with the study an integral part of the strategy to implement the natural gas utilization master plan.
“I call upon Tanzanian experts to work closely with their foreign counterparts on how to implement this project,” she said.
During the workshop, local experts would discuss with expert from JICA on the highlights presented and then proceed with implementation strategies tied to JICA funding.
“This meeting is important to Tanzanians because our country has discovered a huge amount of natural gas and at present 57 percent of its electricity production is generated by natural gas,” Mgalu said.
The government wants natural gas to be spread in many other places so that more Tanzanian can benefit from it, she asserted.
Currently TPDC has embarked on the distribution of domestic gas in Dar es Salaam, Mtwara and Lindi.
At a workshop to introduce a draft of the Natural Gas Domestic Promotion Plan, IEEJ expert Kensuke Kanekiyo said they have studied the possibility of distributing natural gas beyond Dar es Salaam.
He said that JICA consulting assessment shows this approach is quite viable for Tanzania and Japan will be in a position of supporting this.
The country can construct a branch line to deliver natural gas alongside the pipeline beyond Dar es Salaam and gas can be transported by trucks, he said.
Tanzania should not wait until the economy grow big as it can start with a small project and later construct a much bigger system, he explained.
“It is my strong belief that once this master plan is implemented it will be a milestone for Tanzania,” he declared.
He said the consulting agency was persuaded that the development of natural gas can contribute to Tanzania’s development through enhancing industrialisation by increased power generation.
Since 2014 JICA has engaged with the Tanzania government in discussion about the project, with discussions being held here and in Japan.
The Mtwara–Dar es Salaam Natural Gas Pipeline (MDNGP) transports natural gas from natural gas fields in Mnazi Bay, Mtwara Region to Dar es Salaam. Large volumes of natural gas have been discovered offshore Tanzania, with current official estimates suggesting that proven reserves stand at 57 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas
Currently, TPDC is going on with supplying the energy through a network of pipelines to houses at TPDC Estate and 24 housing units at Twiga Estate in Mikocheni, Mtwara and Lindi region.