TANZANIA Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) yesterday assured all investors in the country that it was ready to connect factories to the natural gas pipeline urging those in need of the service to apply for connection.
TPDC acting director general Eng Kapuulya Musomba made the call in Dar es Salaam when the Budget Parliamentary Committee toured Kinyerezi I and II projects.
According to him, they are now preparing a master plan on how to connect industries and households in the country.
"We have already connected at least 37 industries and we plan to connect 42 more for the next two years. We are also preparing the gas master plan for Coast Region to ensure that industries and households are connected to the natural gas," he said.
The DG said the move will enable manufacturers to considerably cut production costs which will lead to reduction of prices of goods and services.
He said that the corporation had also embarked on direct supply of natural gas to homes in Dar es Salaam, raising new hopes of accessing the crucial energy more cheaply with having connected at least 70 households.
The new system had supplied gas from Ubungo main station to Mikocheni homes and will later be extended to other parts of the city. The aim is to see most homes in Dar es Salaam were connected to the natural gas supply system.
He also admitted unplanned settlements as among challenges that face the project with gas infrastructures being hard to reach some of the households.
He said the pipeline which had supplied gas was cheap compared to other types of gas and is environmental friendly.“We hope more people will switch to using natural gas instead of charcoal and other energy sources that had proved to be bad for the environment,” he added.
Speaking during the tour, Budget Committee Chairperson Hawa Ghasia (MP) wanted the Ministry of Energy and Minerals to fast-track the preparation of the country's gas master plan to enable all areas be connected to the product.
"We have conducted tours to various industries in the regions of Mtwara, Lindi, Coast and Dar es Salaam to learn about their operations and challenges they face where we discovered that power was among major challenges facing many industries in the country," she said.
According to her, as the nation is implementing its industrialisation drive power availability should be at a high level.
For his part, Energy and Minerals deputy minister Dr Medard Kalemani said that the government is now preparing a natural gas master plan to ensure that basic infrastructures were built to make it easier for investors to access power supply easily.
"We are also working to ensure that we deploy strong security to the areas where the gas pipeline passes through. This includes also educating and training villagers to protect it, " he added.
He said that with completion of Kinyerezi II power plant of 240MW by the end of next year, the country will be sure of having enough gas for power production, industrial use and households use.