Dodoma — DODOMA: TANZANIA signed a bilateral agreement with Uganda which ushers in a new era as the former is set for maiden natural gas export.
Deputy Prime Minister Dr Doto Biteko, who is also the Minister for Energy, signed the bilateral agreement for gas export with the Ugandan Minister for Energy and Mineral Development, Ms Ruth Nankabirwa on Thursday.
Dr Biteko said the country boasts of huge reserves of the natural gas, estimated at 57.54 trillion cubic feet (tcb), comprising of 10.14tcf onshore and 47.13tcb deep offshore infra- structures.
The agreement signed on Thursday covers feasibility study for the infrastructures and joint procurement documents commencements.
The Deputy Prime Minister said there is a growing demand for the natural gas both within and outside the country, especially in the transport sector taking into consideration the global high fuel prices.
“The project is vital to deal with challenges in the energy sector. Let us make it real, Tanzania is ready to walk the talk and move forward and gain from the resources,” said Dr Biteko.
He said the country produces and utilises 250 million cubic feet of natural gas of which, 80 per cent is used for generating power and the remaining 20 per cent consumed by households, industries and for transportation.
According to Dr Biteko, the country welcomes strategic partners with technological and financial muscle for more exploration development.
He said, currently there is increasing demand for natural gas which is set for significant growth as it is among the zero emission or low emission energy source drivers and energy security.
Giving a brief project re- port, Uganda’s Energy and Mineral Development Ministry Permanent Secretary, Ms Irene Balebe said they are looking forward for an expeditious commencement of the project after the agreement signing.
Both Tanzania and Uganda will contribute 50- 50 financing to the feasibility study during the 2024/25 financial year.
The feasibility study will be undertaken within one year and the steering and technical committees to conduct the exercise involve members from both coun- tries.
The two countries have also agreed on the project implementation framework as it is among the key items for the smooth undertakings.
On her part, the Ugandan minister said the agreement signing is a milestone for the economic ties be- tween the two countries.
“The signing is another milestone, initiating a loud statement to the world that East Africa is serious on energy agenda,” she said.
She was confident that this will prosper for the mutual benefit of the two countries’ citizens.
She said with the climate change effects and calls for a need for environmental protection, hence, natural gas must be highly used in households, industries and transport.