Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete has officially inaugurated on October 10th, 2015 a 532 km pipeline which transports natural gas from Mtwara in Tanzania’s southern region, to the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
The development of the Mtwara – Dar es Salaam gas pipeline included the construction of Madimba Processing Centre, which is operated by state-run Gas Supply Company Limited (GASCO) and that in June 2015 received its first delivery of natural gas for commissioning purposes.
The gas to be used will come from the Mnazi Bay concession in Tanzania’s southern coastal region, where the Canadian Wenworth Resources and French Maurel & Prom Group holds an exploration partnership agreement.
The pipeline and processing plant are part of a Government’s program to add over 2,000 MW of new gas-fired power plants by 2018 and total 10,000 MW of generation capacity by the year 2025 up from the current 1,500 MW.
The aim is to reduce dependency from hydro, representing 33% of Tanzania’s power generation in 2014 and whose capacity has been affected by recurring droughts that are hitting the country.
The pipeline was totally funded by a USD 1.23 billion concessional loan awarded by the state-owned Export-Import Bank of China and constructed by China Petroleum Technology and Development Corporation (CPTDC).
According to booth companies, the pipeline has started to deliver gas to Dar es Salaam at a rate of 70 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd), but is meant to reach the 80 mmcfd by the end of 2015.
The pipeline’s capacity however, is enough to transport up to 210 mmcfd according to the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) Director General, Dr. James Mataragio.
According to Reuters, the expanding the capacity will help to meet domestic demand of gas-fired power plants and offer the opportunity to export to neighbor countries.