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Zambian, Kenyan power to feed national electricity grid

July 14, 2007 -Sosthenes Mwita - Daily News On Saturday

THE government has drawn longterm electricity supply plans that include linking the national power grid to the grids of Zambia and Kenya so that Tanzania sources electricity from the Southern Africa Power Pool and the East Africa Power Pool.

The Minister for Energy and Minerals, Mr Nazir Mustafa Karamagi, said this in the National Assembly yesterday when tabling his ministryís 2007/08 annual budget proposals. He asked the House to sanction an all-round expenditure of 353,959,143,900/-.

He said out of the 353,959,143,900/-, some 312,409,584,900/- would meet development expenditure during the financial year. He also said 41,549,559,000/- would be channelled into recurrent expenditure.

Some 2,710,527,000/- would be spent on salary payments. Mr Karamagi said in 2007/08, his ministry expects to sign three contracts that involved explorations for oil along Lake Tanganyika; in River Ruvu Valley and in Block No. 8 in deep national territorial waters of the Indian Ocean.

The minister also said Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) and Pan African Energy will jointly work on an experimental project that envisages distributing compressed natural gas in prisons, major hospitals and five high profile hotels.

He also told the House that TPDC would continue working on an experimental project that seeks to modify motor vehicles in the country so that they use natural gas instead of diesel or petrol.

He said in 2007/08 Tanesco envisages implementing a medium term plan that would improve production of power with an addition of 200 MW at Kinyerezi natural gas plant and modifying the 100MW IPTL plants so that they use natural gas instead of diesel.

The ministry also seeks to exploit Kiwira Coal Mines to produce 200 MW of power also as a medium term measure. Other medium and long term measures included production of hydro-electric power on rivers Ruhudji (358 MW and Rusumo (60 MW).

Long term plans include harnessing power from the Stieglerís Gorge (2,400 MW); Rumakali (222 MW); Mpanga (118 MW) and Masigira (144 MW). He said the time frame for the medium and long term plans would be outlined in a 25-year scheme.

The minister told the House his ministry plans to present to the government suggestions that aim at initiating a state stock of emergency fuel this financial year. He also said the ministry has already worked on a business plan that would guide and control fuel trade.

He said the dialogue between the state and Artumas on production and distribution of electricity in Mtwara and Lindi regions would be concluded this financial year. Artumas would be contracted to supply power in the two regions instead of Tanesco, he said.

He said in 2007/08 the state would continue to encourage investors to boost the value of minerals.

He said Arusha Gemstone Carving Centre, which currently imparts stone carving skills would be encouraged to add lapidary and jewellery in their programmes. He said in order to ensure that the nation benefits fully from the mineral sector the government would continue with a dialogue with all registered mining companies with a view to making sure they remitted royalties as required of them.

Mr Karamagi said in 2006 the mineral sectorís contribution to national economy grew by 3.8 per cent as compared to 3.5 per cent in 2005. He said the mineral sector grew by 16.4 per cent in 2006 becoming one of the fastest growing economic entities in the country.

Minister Karamagi said in 2007/08 the government would continue to help small-scale by demarcating and registering their mining blocks as has already been done in Kagera, Mwanza and Mara regions.