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EAC in Workshop for Natural Gas Pipeline Project

PRESS RELEASE

Tanzania’s 7.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas enough to supply whole region

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 20 January 2011: A one-day workshop on the feasibility study for the Dar es Salaam-Tanga-Mombasa natural gas pipeline project organized by the East African Community Secretariat in collaboration with the Tanzania’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals and Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) ended 20 January 2011, at the New Africa Hotel in Dar es salaam, Tanzania.

While officially opening the workshop, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Minerals of the United Republic of Tanzania, Mr. David Jairo disclosed that recent petroleum exploration efforts in Tanzania had yielded results that indicate the existence of significant gas reserves that could immensely contribute to meeting the country’s domestic demand, including power generation, fuel for local industries, development of petrochemical industries, compressed natural gas for motor vehicles, liquefied natural gas as well as gas utilization in households and commercial institutions.

Mr. Jairo, who was represented by the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of East African Cooperation, Mr. Musa Uleddi, said that recent discoveries of natural gas in Deep Sea took the total gas reserves in Tanzania to about seven and a half trillion cubic feet, volumes sufficient to allow Tanzania to export both natural gas and electricity to the EAC region.

“As we discuss the natural gas pipeline project we should also look into the exportation of electricity arising from the exploitation of huge energy sources available in Tanzania”, asserted the Permanent Secretary, who added that “the discoveries in Tanzania should be a source of pride and strength to inspire the whole region into deep thinking on how it (region) would benefit from it”.

Mr. Jairo noted that the availability of adequate, reliable and affordable energy was one of the prerequisites for socio-economic development in the East African Community as it facilitates activities in all sectors of the economy. The inadequate, unreliable and expensive energy in the region had been a major constraint since it hampered economic growth through increased costs of doing business. “As a result, the competitiveness of our firms is lower compared with those from other regions, say, Asia and the Far East,” noted the PS.

The PS reiterated that the EAC Partner States had initiated measures aimed at ensuring that there was access to high quality, reliable and cost effective energy in the region.  So far, the EAC had adopted an EAC Power Master Pan to tackle the energy constraint to business operations and households in a more holistic manner. One of the strategies being employed in the Plan was the diversification of energy sources and supply.

The PS urged the EAC Secretariat to fast track policy harmonization process under the energy sector and establish the necessary structures to underpin regional trade in energy services since it was expected that regional energy infrastructure projects would establish linkages in the energy systems across the region that would inevitably result into such trading.

The Director for Productive Services at the EAC Secretariat, Dr. Nyamajeje C. Weggoro, hailed the high presence of stakeholders and experts from the energy sector from all the EAC Partner States, economists, statisticians and financial experts, engineers, environmentalists and business persons, among others at the workshop saying “this is a clear demonstration of the importance and interest associated with the project by all the Partner States”.

Dr. Weggoro said that the objective of the study was to examine the overall feasibility of the project.  The study is to prepare the project up to a bankable level where it could attract financing from private sector, public sector or private-public partnership.  The major aspects of the study include; technical feasibility and conceptual design; route determination; economic and financial evaluation; and environmental and social impact assessment and mitigation measures.

The Chairperson of the Steering Committee on the feasibility study, Mr. Barampanze Pierre who is also the Director of Energy in the Ministry of Energy and Mines of the Republic of Burundi, said the workshop was an important milestone in the study as it brought together key stakeholders whose inputs were instrumental in shaping the next phases of the study.

Notes to Editors

The feasibility study for the Natural Gas Pipeline Dar es Salaam – Tanga - Mombasa study commenced in July 2010 and is being carried out by a Danish consulting firm; COWI A/S in association with COWI Tanzania and Runji and Partners Consulting Engineers Ltd of Kenya.

The African Development Bank is supporting the EAC by financing the study through a grant of US$561,700 under the New Partnership for African Development Infrastructure Project Preparatory Facility (NEPAD-IPPF).

The study is being implemented through four phases.  The Inception Phase involved collection of data and information as well as formulation of the programme and methodology for carrying out the study.  The second phase included market analysis, determination of factors for economic and financial evaluation, route selection and environmental issues at the scoping level. 

The Dar workshop discussed the market analysis, economic and financial evaluation factors, route selection and environmental issues and it provided valuable feedback to the consultants on phase two and they are now to proceed with phase three of the study which will involve detailed analysis of the issues identified in phase two.  In phase four, the Consultant will package the findings of the study into reports

The Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community provides for the joint exploration and development of the resources found in the region for the economic development of the Community in order to improve the quality of life for the people of East Africa. 

It is in this context that various initiatives are being undertaken under the auspices of the EAC to implement projects and programmes aimed at increasing access to high quality, reliable and cost effective energy services throughout the region.

One such initiative is the EAC Power Master Plan meant to tackle the energy constraint to business operations and households in a more holistic manner. One of the strategies being employed in the Plan is the diversification of energy sources and supply.

In terms of diversification Partner States are looking into the optional use of renewable and non-renewable energy sources. Likewise the inter-connectivity of the national Grids of EAC Partner States and the Southern Africa Power Pool is being implemented. 

For more information please contact: Owora Richard Othieno, Head of Department; Corporate Communications and Public Affairs; Tel: +255 784 835021; Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
http://www.eac.int

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