Natural-Gas-Rights.-Pic-credit-Institute-for-Energy-Research
Symbion Power is set to build a 600MW gas-powered plant in Mtwara. Pic credit: Institute for Energy Research

Last week, Paul Hinks, CEO of US-based Symbion Power announced that the company is looking for partners to build a 600MW gas powered plant in Mtwara, located in the southern east of Tanzania.

The gas powered plant to begin in 2017

After attending the Powering Africa conference in Dar es Salaam , Hinks told local media that the project is expected to commence by 2017 and is set to make Tanzania an exporter of electricity to other countries in the region.

He said: “Under this major power project, Tanzania is set to export electricity to the neighbouring countries of Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Burundi and Rwanda. It will be the biggest gas-powered plant in the region.”

He said the project will be funded by the US government.

Hinks explained that the gas powered plant will be constructed in two phases, whereby the first phase will involve construction of a 400MW gas-powered plant while the remaining 200MW will be made available under the second phase.

“We are currently discussing with potential partners to develop the power plant. Next year will be a busy year for soliciting project partners,” he stated.

The project will boost the economy

Commenting on the project, the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) deputy general manager Declan Mhaiki, said that this kind of a project is meant to create a strong business in electricity exports enabling Tanzania to earn foreign currency through trading electricity.

“This project is very good for our economy as we expect to export electricity in large quantities to neighbouring countries…we will be able to earn substantially in foreign exchange,” Mhaiki said.