Tanzania’s New $344 million Natural Gas Plant – A Game Changer

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Tanzania has opened new frontiers towards industrialisation with its brand new $344 million, 167.28-megawatt natural gas power plant at Dar es Salaam. The plant is said to be an initiative of the Tanzanian President John Magufuli and is running at full capacity, which will augment the Sub-Saharan country’s economy and make it an industrial powerhouse by 2025.

Tanzania, with a population of 54 million, has just 1,400 MW of installed grid capacity, which has led to skyrocketing demand for power. And, the new Kinyerezi II natural gas plant, which was inaugurated, is being considered as a game-changer for the nation.

The new natural gas infrastructure is slated for completion in July. The project of 2,100 MW hydropower to be completed by 2021, would be built at the Stiegler’s Gorge in the Selous Game Reserve and would be the largest dam in Tanzania. The nation stands poised with this massive development in the context of the power generation capabilities, to solve its previous power concerns.

The historical turnaround is being attributed to Japan, with the Japanese company, Sumitomo Corp. who constructed this natural gas plant, and a bank loan from a Japanese bank that covered 85% of the $353.72 million. And, towards sustainable energy independence, Tanzania has moved away from importing fossil fuels and is now focusing on using domestic natural gas reserves. Apart from which, it is reported that the adoption of natural gas and the shift away from HFO and diesel has saved around $6.7 billion in 2015.

The next step now would be towards sustained efforts of keeping up with the demand for natural gas. It is reported that the nation sources 50% of its electricity from natural gas. And, the nation has around 57 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves, which are mostly undeveloped. Meanwhile, the recent developments in Tanzania are promising for the nation’s own economic independence, and hopefully, in future, it will become an economic player on the global forums.

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