Tanzania to build gas pipeline to Uganda

05May 2016
Our Reporter
The Guardian
Tanzania to build gas pipeline to Uganda

THE government plans to build a pipeline to supply natural gas to neighbouring Uganda as it looks to export some of the huge offshore gas reserves discovered in the country.

Constructors of the gas pipeline at work.

East Africa is a new hotspot in hydrocarbon exploration after substantial deposits of oil were found in Uganda and major gas reserves discovered in Tanzania and Mozambique.

"Several east African countries have asked to buy gas from Tanzania ... to start with, the (Tanzanian) government plans to build a gas pipeline to Uganda," Tanzania's energy and minerals ministry said in a statement on its website.

Tanzania announced in February it has discovered an additional 2.17 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of possible natural gas deposits in an onshore field at Ruvu area, raising the country’s total estimated recoverable natural gas reserves to more than 57 tcf.

Officials said the Tanzanian government was already seeking funds for the project, but did not reveal how much the construction of the natural gas pipeline to Uganda would cost.

"The timeframe for the construction of the planned gas pipeline from Tanzania to Uganda will depend on the availability of funds. Once financing is in place, we will begin construction work immediately," a Tanzanian energy official said.
Tanzania last year commissioned a 532 km (330 mile) pipeline and gas processing plants from gas fields south of the country to its commercial capital Dar es Salaam, financed by a $1.3 billion Chinese loan.

Most of the gas discoveries in Tanzania were made in deep-sea offshore blocks south of the country near the site of a planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant.

BG Group, acquired by Royal Dutch Shell, along with Statoil, Exxon Mobil and Ophir Energy plan to build an onshore LNG export terminal in Lindi Region in partnership with the state-run Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC).
Uganda last month announced it would build a pipeline for its crude oil through Tanzania rather than Kenya, which had wanted to secure the export route.

Land-locked Uganda, which found oil in a western region around Hoima, said last year it would build a pipeline through Kenya, linking its fields to Kenyan discoveries in Lokichar and on to Lamu on Kenya's north coast.

But in March this year Uganda changed tack, saying it was now planning a pipeline from Hoima to Tanga on Tanzania's coast, prompting a last-minute push by Kenya for another switch.

A summit of the East African Community (EAC) bloc - which groups Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and now South Sudan - finally confirmed in Kampala last month that Uganda would take the Tanzanian option for its crude oil export pipeline.