The Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (TANESCO) has recently announced that approximately 245 MW of power capacity has been added to the national grid thanks to natural gas delivered from Mnazi Bay in Mtwara in Tanzania’s southern coastal region.
The extra power generation came from three different gas fired power plants located in Dar es Salaam; Ubungo II with a capacity of 100 MW that generated 70 MW, Kinyerezi I with a capacity of 150 MW that generated 75 MW and Symbion, which has a capacity of 120 MW and generated 100 MW to extend in total Tanzania’s power generation capacity to at least 1,754 MW.
Soon the country will add 35 MW more from Ubungo II and 75 MW from Kinyerezi I to complement the 240 MW that are expected to be generated from Kinyerezi II, exlplained TANESCO’s Public Relations Manager Adrian Severin.
Kinyerezi II is expected to start construction works in January, 2016, and is part of a project compounded by four gas fired power plants meant to add approximately 1,000 MW of capacity to the national grid through a 400 KV sub-station in Kinyerezi area.
Even though Kinyerezi I was being supplied with natural gas from the Songosongo gas field, it will be switched off to allow tests with natural gas supplied from Mnazi Bay and that the whole project is expected to be supplied with this gas to assure a reliable power supply to the population, explained TANESCO Director General Felchism Mramba.
Tanzania will not only experience and improvement in power supply due to the new gas available from Mnazi Bay, but is also committed to invest in new gas-fired power plants to support electricity supply throughout East Africa, Tanzania’s Former Minister for Energy and Minerals George Simbachawene added.
Tanzania is currently planning to tap its natural gas reserves by also building a gas export plant aiming at supplying the needs of the Asian markets after the local and regional needs are covered and the electricity sector has become non-dependent of oil imports and unreliable hydropower plants.
This will help the country to save up to USD 1 billion a year on oil imports for electricity generation according to the WSJ.
Tanzania raised its natural gas reserves from 46.5 trillion cubic feet in June, 2014 to 55 trillion cubic feet in June, 2015 due to a series of discoveries in offshore blocks.
However, the country has a potential natural gas reserves up to 441 trillion cubic feet solely in the coastal region, according to the US Geological Survey.