gas pipeline
A gas pipeline network
Tanzania’s current natural gas reserves are estimated to be approximately 55 trillion cubic feet

In Tanzania, many communities connected to the national power grid experienced power cuts yesterday due to the connection of the new natural gas pipeline from Mtwara.

The east African country’s existing gas-powered turbines had to be turned off to allow for the connection of the new pipeline, which will supply gas to the 112MW Symbion power plant, Plant number 2 at Ubungo as well as the 150MW Kinyerezi plant, the Tanzania Daily News reported.

The Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco)’s Managing Director, Engineer Felchesmi Mramba, said: “For the whole of tomorrow (yesterday), gas fired plants will be turned off to allow technicians to connect the new pipeline to new plants at Ubungo.”

The plants that had to be shut down included the 184MW Songas plant, 100MW Ubungo Plant number 1 and 45MW Tegeta power plant.

Mramba stressed that power interruptions could run until 15 September, when all installations are expected to be completed.

Tanzania natural gas opportunities

Managing Director of the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation, James Mataragio, said that the transportation of gas from Madimba Processing Plant in Mtwara yesterday “clocked 3 bars”, media reported.

Mataragio said: “For power generation to commence, we require between 50 and 55 bars of natural gas, which will be realised in the next one week since we are still pumping gas in the pipeline.”

In June, George Simbachawene, Tanzania‘s energy and minerals minister stated that the country’s current natural gas reserves are estimated to be approximately 55 trillion cubic feet (tcf) following new deep sea discoveries off its southern coast.

Simbachawene explained that: “As a result of ongoing exploration activity, natural gas resources discovered in the country rose from 46.5 tcf in June 2014 to 55.08 tcf in April 2015, equivalent to an increase of 18%.”

According to the Tanzania Daily News, through natural gas production, the country could save almost $1 billion, which has previously been used to purchase expensive heavy fuel to operate diesel-powered generation plants.