Kenya and Tanzania in partnership to put up natural gas plant in Mombasa

Jul 01, 2009 02:00 AM

Kenya has managed to convince Tanzania to put up a joint gas plant in Mombasa for processing of natural gas deposits from her southern neighbour.
The African Development Bank will finance studies for construction of the Dar-es-Salaam-Tanga-Mombasa natural gas pipeline that will pave way for the construction of the plant by year end, according to an energy official at the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat. Earlier, potential investors were invited through a memorandum on the United Nations Business Development to express interest for the pipeline project.

Energy minister Kiraitu Murungi and his counterpart William Ngeleja, Tanzania's minister for energy and minerals are expected to complete modalities for the multi-billion twin projects.
"I have invited my Tanzanian counterpart for talks in Nairobi for the Tanzanian gas to be processed in a new plant in Mombasa," said Mr Murungi recently. "With the assistance of the AfDB, we are going to carry out a study for the pipeline to run from Dar-es-Salaam to Mombasa via Tanga," Mizengo Pinda, Tanzania's prime minister recently told investors in Dar-es-Salaam.

Tanzania has natural gas reserves in Songo Songo, in Mnazi Bay, at Mkuranga, some 40 km south of Dar es Salaam and Kiliwani on the Songo Songo Island. Analysts say it makes more sense to build another extension from Kenya's pipeline to serve Tanzania, rather than Tanzania going it alone and building one from Dar-es-Salaam.
Among the expected beneficiaries include Kenya's biggest independent power producer at Rabai near Mombasa.

The single largest power project by an independent power producer Aldwych International and Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC) is set to be completed by December, easing current pressure on the national grid.
"The plant could use natural gas which is cheaper, once we complete an arrangement-for a pipeline connecting Mombasa and the gas fields at Songo Songo in Northern Tanzania are complete," said Energy Permanent Secretary Patrick Nyoike.

When completed, the Sh 12 bn plant will add 90 MW to the national grid through a 20-year power purchase agreement signed with the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC).

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