Charles Sangweni

Charles Sangweni


Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority, Tanzania


SESSION 28:  Natural Gas Supply Infrastructure in Tanzania: Implications of Increased Demand

The use of natural gas in Tanzania started in July 2004, after completion of the first infrastructure consisting of 70mmscfd capacity Processing plant at Songo Songo together with a 247km, 24’’ pipeline from Songo Songo gas fields to Dar es Salaam, with a capacity of transporting up to 105mmscfd (without compression). This infrastructure was constructed to supply gas for power generation at Ubungo Songas power plant. In the course of supplying gas to power project, some additional consumers which includes 39 industries, 70 households and 1 institution together with a hotel were identified. To date about 100mmscfd of gas is supplied to different users through this infrastructure.

When this infrastructure was designed it was envisaged that it will take up to 12 years to operate at its full capacity. Unfortunately, within 4 years it was full to the extent that modification was done to increase the processing capacity to 105mmscfd. Currently this infrastructure is operating at its fully capacity saving power plants generating about 330MW, 39 industries, 70 houses, a hotel and one institution. Also there is one compression station that supplies compressed natural gas (CNG) to customers who are not yet connected to gas distribution network and 50 vehicles that were converted to use natural gas. Having rapid increase in natural gas demand within the country and in considering recent massive natural gas discoveries that amounts to 57.27TCF, in 2011 the Government of Tanzania through its National Oil Company (TPDC) constructed a new natural gas infrastructure.

The new infrastructure known as National Natural Gas Infrastructure (NNGI) comprises of Madimba processing plant with a capacity to process 210mmscfd and Songo Songo processing plant with a capacity of processing 140mmscfd together with a 542 km, 36’’ pipeline connecting Madimba and Songo Songo to Dar es Salaam. This infrastructure started to operate in September 2015, and gas supplied is currently used in generating power of almost 200MW.  The completion of this infrastructure attracted many other users including new industries and independent power producers. The design allows expansion of the processing plants to suit the pipeline capacity which is 784mmscfd without compression and 1002mmsfcd with compression. Plan is to supply gas through the NNGI to regions crossed by the pipeline, and also the rest of Dar es Salaam city. In addition to Dar es Salaam city, the Ministry of Energy and Minerals is currently in final stages of preparing the Natural Gas Utilization Master Plan which will be a guidance for natural gas supply to the rest of Tanzania and its cross borders.

This paper provides details on how the development of downstream natural gas infrastructure (processing, transmission and distribution facilities) has triggered natural gas demand in Tanzania. It provides the history of natural gas utilization in Tanzania and how it has evolved over time and circumstances. It thus concludes that there is a need for further sustainable investment in the natural gas infrastructure so as to cater for the increasing demand and promote new demand for natural gas.