Assistant Commissioner in-charge of renewable energy in the Ministry of Energy, Edward Ishengoma revealed this yesterday in Dar es Salaam when speaking at the regional conference on the ‘State of Energy Development and Management in Eastern and Southern Africa.’
The conference was organised by Tanzania Energy Platform (TEP), and gathered stakeholders from across the world.
Ishengoma said that, the possibility to become the hub is due to the fact that as of now, the amount of natural gas reserve in Tanzania stood at 57.54 trillion cubic feet (TCF), among other improvements in the sector.
"The oil and gas sub-sector in Tanzania plays a significant role in the realisation of industrialisation agenda as well as the Tanzania development Vision by 2025.
“Considering the fact that natural gas contributes over 50 percent in electricity mix not to mention a number of industries, houses, and vehicles that are currently using natural gas in the country, setting strategic plans to further develop this sub-sector are of paramount importance," he said.
Ishengoma further said that the country's demand for electricity grows at the average of between 10 to 15 per cent per annum. Following such rapid growth, significant efforts have been made to improve the transmission and distribution networks and increase power generation, including mega projects like Rufiji hydro power project.
The current country's installed electricity generation capacity is 1,601.89 MW including 36.18 MW from isolated facilities. About 57.02 per cent of the capacity is generated from natural gas and 5.67 percent from fossil fuel, whilst 36.64 percent is from hydropower, 0.67 percent from biomass and imports is about 23 MW.
Ambassador of Netherlands in Tanzania, Jeroen Verheul advised the government to stay ahead of the curve as the world and energy scenario's change drastically.
"What is the role of fossil fuel in 10 years when perhaps the Tanzania natural gas will come on stream?, and what will it be in 40 years time when all the investments in liquefied natural gas (LNG)in Tanzania will have been paid off? And is the Tanzanian LNG plan future proof?" he queried.
TEP chairperson, Prof Prekisedis Ndomba commented that the Platform was positioned to provide a networking for sharing information and expertise among all stakeholders in the name of overcoming all challenges facing the energy sector.