Moza, Tanzania to boost region’s gas output

Jul 13, 2015 12:00 AM

New natural gas reserves discovered in Mozambique and Tanzania are set to increase the production of the product in Africa if resources and relevant policies are put in place, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its Energy Outlook Report for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Sub-Saharan Africa is rich in energy resources, but very poor in energy supply. Making reliable and affordable energy widely available is critical to the development of a region that accounts for 13 percent of the world’s population, but only meets 4 percent of its energy demand.

IEA said natural gas will triple its share in the energy mix to 11 percent by 2040.

“Nigeria remains the region’s largest gas consumer and producer, but the focus for new gas projects also shifts to the east coast and to the huge offshore discoveries in Mozambique and Tanzania,” it said.

“The size of these developments and remoteness of their location raises questions about how quickly production can begin, but they provide a 75 billion cubic metre (bcm) boost to annual regional output (which reaches 230 bcm in total) by 2040, with projects in Mozambique larger in scale and earlier in realisation.”

Natural gas resource-holders, the agency said, can power domestic economic development and boost export revenues, but only if the right regulation, prices and infrastructure are in place.

“The incentives to use gas within sub-Saharan Africa are expected to grow as power sector and gas infrastructure projects move ahead but, for the moment, as much gas is flared as is consumed within the region,” it said.

It said the region needed to plug gas leakages to derive maximum benefits.

“More than 1 trillion cubic metres of gas has been wasted through flaring over the years, a volume that – if used to provide power – would be enough to meet current sub-Saharan electricity needs for more than a decade,” IEA said.

According to the agency East coast gas export will rake in an estimated US$150 billion in fiscal revenue by 2040 for Mozambique and Tanzania if they keep determined to promote domestic markets for gas, which will need to be built from a very low base.

In sub-Saharan Africa as a whole, only 290 million out of 915 million people have access to electricity and the total number without access is rising although the picture may varies from one region to another.

Established in 1974, the IEA is an autonomous agency with the mandate of ensuring energy security to its member countries through collective response to physical oil supply, and provide authoritative research and analysis on ways to ensure reliable, affordable clean energy for its 29 member country and beyond.

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