Tanesco predicts end of power woes

The shortage of electricity that has hit a few parts of the country for the past few days is set to ease owing to good progress on maintenance of gas wells at the Songosongo gas field in Lindi Region.

TANESCO Managing Director Engineer Felschesmi Mramba said in Dar es Salaam on Thursday that power generation required over 80 per cent of gas production as of on Thursday.

Natural gas from the Songo songo produces about 245MW of power to the national grid, supplementing other sources of power namely hydro and diesel-fired turbines.

Gas accounts for between 40-45 per cent of power generation in the country.

However, during the past five days, regions connected to the national grid have been facing power shortages due to maintenance work at the gas fields, which caused disruption in power generation.

“We assure the public that electricity shortages will lessen by far by today evening (yesterday) as there is good progress in the maintenance work,” Engineer Mramba told journalists during a news conference at the Tanzania Information Services Auditorium (Maelezo) in the city.

The power utility firm’s chief explained further that maintenance at the gas fields was in its final stages, which was yet another assurance of more additional natural gas to generate power for the national grid.

Maintenance of the wells started on November 16 and it was expected to last ten days up to November 26, this year. Going by the Tanesco MD’s remarks, it is obvious that the work will take fewer days than it was planned.

“The government and Tanesco have been pushing operators of the facility to ensure that the maintenance is completed on time,” Engineer Mramba said.

The gas field is operated by Pan African Energy Tanzania.

Gas from Songosongo is processed on the island to remove water and other hydrocarbon condensates.

It is then transported through a 225-km pipeline to Dar es Salaam where it is used at Songas’ Ubungo power plant, the largest gas-fired power station in East Africa.

There are also two gas power stations at Tegeta and Ubungo in Dar es Salaam.

Engineer Mramba proudly said that days of power shortages and rationing in the country will soon be history due to the ongoing projects aimed at boosting supply throughout the country.

At present, the government is through a loan from China constructing a 542-km gas pipeline from Mtwara to Dar es Salaam to increase supply of the natural resource for power generation.

Regions that are served by the national power grid include Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Dodoma and Morogoro.

Others are Shinyanga, Mwanza, Mara, Mbeya, Iringa, Tabora, Mbeya, Singida, Manyara, Singida and Zanzibar.

By FATMA ABDU, Tanzania Daily News

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