5 September 2013 – According to a Reuters report, Tanzania, which has made big natural gas discoveries, plans to start power exports to its neighbours in 2015 after the completion of a gas pipeline.

The 532 km pipeline, funded by a US$1.2 billion Chinese loan, is to be completed by December 2014 enabling the country to double its power generation capacity to 3,000 MW.

Energy and minerals minister Sospeter Muhongo says Tanzania, which currently imports around 14 MW from its neighbours and suffers from chronic energy shortages, is poised to become a net power exporter within the next two years.

Muhongo says Kenya has made enquiries about importing some 1,000 MW of electricity from Tanzania. Tanzania has 43.1 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas reserves and anticipates that will rise fivefold within the next two years if new finds prove productive.

In July 2013 the country also revised its coal reserves to 5.0 billion tonnes from about 1.5 billion tonnes, and said it plans to use coal and gas for power generation.

Tanzania has so far licensed 16 international energy companies to search for oil and gas. British gas firm BG, Norway’s Statoil, Brazil’s Petrobras, Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil are among companies already operating in Tanzania.