The Ubungo gas plants will at the initial stage contribute 90MW to the national grid and expected to reduce power shortages in the country. Speaking to reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the Minister for Energy and Minerals, Mr George Simbachawene, said using natural gas to produce electricity is a permanent solution to power problems in the country, as it guarantees sufficient supply of electricity throughout the year.
“I am glad to announce that we have moved a step forward in ensuring sufficient power supply, as the exercise to connect natural gas pipeline went smoothly and we are using it in power generation,” he said, adding that natural gas is expected to produce about 335MW from October, this year.
“We have managed to meet our own deadline as we had planned for the commercial operational date of gas processing plants and the pipeline to take off from September, this year,” he added.
He said the process to switch on gas plants will be undertaken in six different phases, that has effectively started from last Tuesday and expected to last till October 20, this year.
Mr Simbachawene said at first power plants were running below standard following the little amount of gas that was transported from Songosongo, but now Tanzanians shall experience improvement in the power supply.
“It is a huge achievement that all Tanzanians have to be proud of, as we have started to benefit from our own project that cost 1.225 billion US dollars, that has been fully funded by the government and being supervised by Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC),” he said.
The minister also said that the government would invest in new gas-fired power plants to boost electricity generation in East Africa and other neighbouring countries that are frequently hit by chronic energy shortages.
Moreover, it was said that the switching to gas-fired power plants in the country would also reduce oil imports, hence leading to the increase of the country’s annual savings.
The plants that are in the list to produce electricity by natural gas from Mtwara include Ubungo plants, Kinyerezi, Tegeta and Songas which together will contribute the 335MW to the national grid hence end the shortages in the country.
By DEOGRATIUS KAMAGI, Tanzania Daily News