DAR ES SALAAM — Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete on Oct 10 officially inaugurated a 535-kilometer gas pipeline built with a $1.23-billion concessional loan from the Export-Import Bank of China.
The construction of the gas pipeline that transports natural gas from Tanzania’s southern region of Mtwara to the commercial capital Dar es Salaam started in June 2013 and was undertaken by China Petroleum Technology and Development Corporation (CPTDC), a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Company (CNPC).
The construction works involved the laying down of 24-36 inches diameter pipeline from Mnazi Bay in Mtwara to Kinyerezi in Dar es Salaam via Somanga Fungu where there was already a spur line from the Songo Songo gas field in Lindi region, also in southern Tanzania.
The Chinese firm has also constructed a natural gas processing plant at Madimba in Mtwara region.
Speaking shortly after he had commissioned the project, President Kikwete said the inauguration of the project should end power outages facing the east African nation’s second largest economy after Kenya.
Tanzania has for a long time been facing power shortage due to its dependence on hydro-power generation.
Last week, the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO), the country’s state-owned power utility, announced that it was shutting down all its six hydro-power plants because of decrease of water level in its dams.
The Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) Director General, Dr James Mataragio, said the pipeline has capacity to transport 210 cubic feet of natural gas a day from Msimbati in Mtwara to Kinyerezi in Dar es Salaam.
“The inauguration of this gas project puts Tanzania in the list of countries that produce natural gas,” said Dr Mataragio.
He added: “The natural gas produced in Mtwara will act as an economic catalyst for the country which aims to attain the middle income status by 2025.”