- Published on Tuesday, 03 July 2012 00:40
- Written by FINNIGAN WA SIMBEYE
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THE government has reaffirmed its commitment to shift away from over reliance on hydro-electric power generation to optional sources including natural gas, wind, coal and geothermal.
The Energy and Minerals Minister, Prof Sospeter Muhongo said in Dar es Salaam on Sunday evening while commissioning a first Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) gas turbines thermal power plant that regular droughts have necessitated a shift in government policy.
"We are committed to changing dependency on a single source of electricity which is hydro that generates 561 megawatts or 41 per cent of all supplied to the national grid," Prof Muhongo said after inspecting a 105MW plant at Ubungo in Dar es Salaam.
He pointed out that power rationing has been regular due to droughts which have forced the government to resolve to adopt alternative sources of energy led by gas which is in abundance.
"Until now, over 26.99 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas reserve have been discovered which is an equivalent of 4.86 billion barrels of oil and more is expected to be found as exploration continues," the minister said.
The new 105MW power generation plant brings to 554MW of electricity being generated by natural gas which translates to 40 per cent of the 1,375MW of power supplied on the national grid. Tanesco Managing Director, Eng. William Mhando said Ubungo gas plant number two was supplied by Swedish electric firm, Siemens.
The plant with three gas turbines with capacity of 35MW each was constructed by Norwegian Jacobsen Electro AS company."The project involved supply, installation and commissioning of 105MW gas based power plant at a cost of 124.89 million US dollars (over 192.83bn/-)," Eng Mhando noted. The project was financed by a loan from HSBC Bank with guarantees from Norwegian government through their local company, Geik.