President John Magufuli last week opened a brand new $344 million, 167.82-megawatt natural gas power plant named Kinyerezi II on the outskirt of the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, marking a turning point in the country’s push towards industrialization.
The plant, already running at full capacity, is just a part of President Magufuli’s initiative to transform the country’s economy–the third biggest in Africa–into an industrial powerhouse by 2025.
Up until this point, Tanzania has been the furthest thing from being an energy front runner, with a population of 54 million, skyrocketing demand of power, and just 1400 MW of installed grid capacity.
In the past, most of Tanzanians energy came from hydro-power sources, leading to frequent shortages in region with persistent droughts.
The inauguration of new Kinyerezi II natural gas plant will be an undeniable game changer for the East Africa nation.
The new natural gas infrastructure will be complemented with massive hydropower generation project slated for July.
The 2,100 MW hydro-power project, to built at the Striegler’s Gorge in the Selous Game Reserve, will be the Largest dam in Tanzania by the time it is finished in 2021.
Combined with the new natural gas plant, Tanzania is expecting to solve the nation’s previous power generation system. Soon the country will even be able to sell surplus energy to other countries.
Japanese Company Sumitomo Corp. constructed Tanzanian’s new natural gas plant as Japanese bank loan covered 85 percent of the $353.72 million price tag.
However , Tanzania has also been making major strides in its own economic strategy with successful money-saving initiatives, particularly in the energy sector.
As part of the country’s push for sustainable energy independence, the country has moved away from importing fossils fuels to focus on using their own domestic natural gas reserves, allowing a saving of $4 billion between 2015 and 2017, therefore massively accelerating domestic economic output and capabilities.
The adaption of natural gas and the shift away from Heavy Furnace Oil (HFO) and diesel has also saved nearly $6.7 billion in 2015 alone.