A pipeline connecting offshore natural gas fields to Tanzania's commercial capital Dar es Salaam is complete, but technical setbacks will keep it from going online until November, officials said yesterday.
Tanzania estimates it has at least 53.28 trillion ft3 of recoverable natural gas reserves off its southern coastline. Discoveries offshore of Tanzania and Mozambique waters have led to predictions the region could become the world's third-largest exporter of natural gas.
The 532 km (330 mile) pipeline and gas processing plants, financed by a US$1.225 billion Chinese loan, were initially expected to be completed last year.
"Construction of the pipeline is 100% complete," Badra Masoud, spokeswoman for the energy and minerals ministry, told Reuters. "There is some additional work that remains to be done as a result of pre-commissioning inspection tests on the pipeline.”
Masoud said construction of two gas processing plants that are part of the pipeline's infrastructure was 96% complete.
Construction of the land and marine pipeline was expected to cost US$875.7 million while the processing plants were being built at a cost of US$349.6 million, according to Tanzania government figures.
Oil explorer Wentworth Resources said in a statement on Tuesday it was informed about completion delays by the state-run energy regulator Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), but expected the gas pipeline to be fully operational within four months.
Edited from various sources by Elizabeth Corner
Sources: Reuters, The Africa Report