23 November 2012 – Tanzania is laying a 500km gas pipeline and constructing infrastructure to generate electricity from gas in a US$1.225 billion project to help the country meet all its power needs. The construction of the Mnazi Bay and SongoSongo natural gas processing plant has been launched along with work to build a transportation pipeline.

The project is being undertaken by the China National Petroleum Corporation, is being financed through a loan from China’s Exim Bank, and is expected to generate 990 MW when completed in 2014. The electricity will be generated using four generators two with a capacity to generate 300MW each, and two to generate 150MW and 240MW respectively.

The large diameter of the pipeline is expected to increase the transportation capacity of natural gas for power generation as well as industry and domestic use. The project involves the construction of a 24 to 36 inch diameter pipeline from Mnazi Bay in Mtwara, connected at Somanga Fungo with the SongoSongo gas field in the Lindi region, and then on to Dar es Salaam.

A 24inch pipeline will be constructed from Mnazi Bay to Somanga, and the existing 16inch pipeline between Somanga and Dar es Salaam expanded to 36 inches. It will have the capacity to transport 210 million cubic feet of gas a day, up from the current 105 million cubic feet. The existing 16inch natural gas pipeline from SongoSongo to Dar es Salaam, owned by private investors, has been facing capacity constraints amid growing demand for gas and energy.