In the final quarter of 2013, Tanzania signed contracts worth US$1.7 billion with Chinese companies to construct power plants and housing units in the east African country. This marks China’s growing economic presence in Tanzania, which has made big discoveries of natural gas off its southern coast.

In October 2013 the Tanzanian government signed seven agreements with six Chinese companies, in different sectors. Among these is a US$692.7 million contract awarded to Tebian Electric Apparatus Stock Co, China’s largest manufacturer of high-voltage transformers, for the construction of a 400 kV power transmission line.

China is also financing a US$1.2 billion 532 km natural gas pipeline from the south east of the country to Dar es Salaam.

Chinese companies are eyeing Tanzania’s natural gas reserves and are expected to bid for oil and gas blocks in the country.