Sahara Group, a Nigerian energy conglomerate is looking to constructing two gas-fired power plant that is capable of generating 900MW as the firm expands business in Tanzania.
The company which is now involved in oil trading alone in Tanzania says it’s ready to do that once the government gives a nod.
“We have been in talks with the government and now we are waiting for the Tanzania National Electricity Supply Company’s response,” said Mr Dallas Peavey, Managing Director of Egbin Power PLC which is a subsidiary of Sahara Group.
“If they allow us today, immediately we will commence the job and in nine to twelve months half of the job will be done,” he told a group of Tanzania journalists who visited the Nigeria’s largest power plant run by the firm.
The plant has a capacity of generating 1320MW but currently, it’s doing 620MW due to problems of natural gas supply.
The plant is also being overhauled to generate a total of 3,000MW come 2019. Mr Peavey said they have met government officials including the Prime Minister, energy and minerals minister and Tanesco and they are just waiting when the government is ready.
The expected two 450MW power plants will cost $630 million (about Sh1.3 trillion) to complete in a maximum of 24 months, he added.
Tanzania has so far discovered a total estimated recoverable natural gas resource of more than 57 trillion cubic feet (tcf) from both onshore and offshore.
The East Africa’s second-biggest economy also completed the 532-kilometre pipeline which transports natural gas from Mtwara in Tanzania’s southern region to the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
“All these are good achievements for us to easily invest. Tanzania is a beautiful country with a lot of resources … it just needs power to develop. We are interested in the power generation because it’s our
big business,” said Mr Peavey. Tanzania allows Independent Power Producers and then sell the electricity to Tanesco which controls both transmission and distribution.
Egbin, therefore, needs Tanesco’s guarantee that the power utility will buy the electricity generated.