Tanzania, Uganda sign gas pipeline deal

Uganda's Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Ruth Nankabirwa (L) and Tanzania's Deputy Prime Minister Doto Biteko (R) signing a bilateral deal on November 9, 2023. PHOTO COURTESY
Uganda's Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Ruth Nankabirwa (L) and Tanzania's Deputy Prime Minister Doto Biteko (R) signing a bilateral deal on November 9, 2023. PHOTO COURTESY

On Thursday, Tanzania and Uganda officially entered into a bilateral agreement to build a natural gas pipeline, aiming to enhance energy security and foster economic growth in both nations.

This pipeline will facilitate the transportation of natural gas from the southern regions of Tanzania to Uganda, where it will play a crucial role in fueling factories and generating electricity.

Additionally, the project is anticipated to bring about job opportunities and attract foreign investments.

The agreement was formally executed by Tanzania’s Energy Minister, Doto Biteko, and Uganda’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Ruth Nankabirwa.

During the signing ceremony, Biteko stated that the initiative would elevate the need for natural gas, consequently enhancing gas extraction in Tanzania’s Lindi and Mtwara areas.

Additionally, he highlighted that Kenya and Botswana have shown interest in Tanzania’s natural gas.

Biteko encouraged potential investors to consider investing in the natural gas industry.

He highlighted that gas processing has currently reached a daily capacity of 250 million cubic feet, with 80 percent allocated for electricity generation and the remaining 20 percent for industrial, household, and transportation purposes.

Biteko mentioned that the agreement relies on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) inked by the two nations in August 2018.

He added that the collaborative efforts will involve conducting a feasibility study to evaluate crucial aspects of the project, including its design, gas demand, pipeline size, and other pertinent factors.

Additionally, Biteko highlighted Tanzania’s substantial natural gas reserves, estimated at around 57.54 trillion cubic feet.

He emphasized the government’s ongoing exploration efforts in regions such as Eyasi Wembere, Mnazi Bay North, Songosongo West, Lake Tanganyika, and the deep sea.

Minister Nankabirwa of Uganda expressed her country’s acknowledgment of the project’s significance and its dedication to expediting its progress.

She called on the joint implementation committee to hasten the procurement process for both the lead consultant and the feasibility study.

Nankabirwa highlighted the longstanding partnership between the two nations in energy ventures, exemplified by joint initiatives like the 14-megawatt Kikagati hydropower project, the power transmission project linking Masaka Mutukula to Mwanza, and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project.

The gas pipeline project between Tanzania and Uganda marks a crucial achievement in East Africa’s endeavors to integrate energy resources.

This endeavor is poised to enhance energy stability, foster economic development in both nations, generate employment opportunities, and draw foreign investments.

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES

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