natural gas rights
President Kikwete of Tanzania has expressed the hope that newly discovered gas reserves will be utilised to address power shortages in that country.
President Kikwete of Tanzania has expressed the hope that newly discovered gas reserves will be utilised to address power shortages in that country.

by Babalwa Bungane, ESI Africa intern

In a bid to overcome the regular power outages that many east African countries have been experiencing, the Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete has expressed the hope that the newly discovered natural gas in the country will be utilised to change this situation.

Kikwete was speaking at the official launch of the infrastructure for the processing and transportation of natural gas in Mtwara over the weekend, allAfrica reports.

Exploiting different energy sources

The president highlighted that by utilising different energy sources Tanzania will experience an improved power supply.

He continued, noting that the country is making the right decision through early diversification to other potential sources of power generation, such as gas or renewable energy.

“Tanzania relied on hydro-power generation for many years. Ten years ago the nation experienced serious droughts that lowered water levels of the main power dams of Mtera, Kihansi and Kidatu. [A] similar situation is being experienced at the moment,” Kikwete said.

“Again water levels are too low to sustain power generation. But the use of natural gas in addition to other potential sources of power production like wind, coal and solar will guarantee unfailing supply for many years to come”, he continued.

Kikwete gave examples of current generation capacity versus installed capacity at a number of generation plants.  For instance, Kidatu with an installed capacity of 204MW is currently producing 27MW; Khans which can produce 180MW now generates 45MW and Pangani, with 68MW capacity today generates 25MW.

The Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania, Dr Lu Young addressed members of the Tanzanian Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), reminding them to fulfil their corporate social responsibility obligations by improving the standards of social services like water, education and medical services in the area to maintain good working relationship with neighbouring villages.

China’s Exim Bank provided the financing for the pipeline construction project.

Nigerian power supply improves

In other generation news, according to a recently released opinion poll conducted by NOI polls in Nigeria, sentiment would indicate the country’s power generation has improved significantly, with 4,800MW of available capacity in the third quater.

This data according to Ghana web represents the highest improvement in the power sector since it was privatized in 2013.