The Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (TANESCO) confirmed that at least 245MW of electricity, fuelled by natural gas from the new Mtwara pipeline has been added to the national grid.
Tanesco’s Public Relations Manager, Adrian Severin, said adding megawatts generated from natural gas to the national grid is being done in stages.
“We have already added 245MW generated from our power plants and the process is going on well. We expect the country will have reliable power after all the megawatts are added to the national grid,” he said.
Severin said that, of the total 245MW, 70MW has been secured from Ubungo II power plant, 75MW came from Kinyerezi I and the 100MW was acquired from Symbion. He added that there is another addition of 35MW and 75MW from Ubungu II and Kinyerezi power plants respectively, which will be added soon.
He went on to give insight into the developments on the construction of Kinyerezi II power plant that is underway and is expected to generate 240MW upon completion.
Tanesco Director General, Felchism Mramba, told journalists who toured the Kinyerezi I power plant that the gas plant generating power from Songosongo will be switched off to allow the testing of the new gas pipeline from Mtwara.
He, however, assured Tanzanians that they should expect reliable power thereafter, when Tanesco starts generating power from the Mtwara gas.
Tanzania’s former Minister for Energy and Minerals, George Simbachawene, said using natural gas to produce electricity is the permanent solution to the country’s power problems; further pointing out that it guarantees sufficient supply of electricity throughout the year.
Simbachawene said the power plants were previously running below because amount of gas from Songosongo was not sufficient but now Tanzanians shall experience improvement in power supply because of additional gas from Mtwara.
“It is a huge achievement that all Tanzanians have to be proud of,” he said and placed the value of the project at $1.225 billion fully funded by tax payers’ money and supervised by Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC).
The minister summed up with a note on government’s commitment to invest in new gas-fired power plants to boost electricity generation across East Africa.