DAR-ES-SALAAM, As the government intensifies efforts to phase out the use of charcoal nationwide, the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) has come up with plans to supply gas to industrial and residential areas.
TPDC acting Managing Director Kapuulya Musomba said in Dar es Salaam Thursday that the public utility envisaged supplying compressed natural gas (CNG) to the public in phases. The TPDC, he said, had divided the country into four zones for studies which would involve mapping to facilitate the gas supply.
Dar-es-Salaam, which consumes a large amount of charcoal, would be given priority, said Musomba, hinting that should all go as planned, the study and mapping would begin by the end of this month.
Available data showed that Dar-es-Salaam alone consumes 500,000 tonnes of charcoal annually, contributing to loss of 372,000 hectares of forest land countrywide a year or charcoal production and firewood.
Musomba said all activities, including mapping and laying of gas pipes to industrial and residential areas, would be implemented through involvement of private firms under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
Another area for mapping will take on board the Mtwara and Lindi regions (provinces), he said, noting that because there was a gas pipeline running from southern Tanzania to Dar-es-Salaam, conducting the study and mapping might be easier.
Coast Region, an area that has turned into an industrialisation leader in the country, is also on the TPDC's drawing board for CNG supply through pipes. According to Musomba, a decision has already been made to lay the pipeline from Mwandege in Mkuranga district to facilitate gas supply in the district and nearby areas, including residential houses.
The government on Tuesday announced plans to phase out the use of charcoal in the country, starting with some government institutions. Minister of State in the Vice-President's Office for Union and Environment affairs, January Makamba, said the government was also in the process of drafting a roadmap to provide clear guidance on implementing the decision to save the environment.
In drafting the roadmap, the minister said, the private sector, government institutions, NonGovernmental Organisations, local government authorities, oil and gas companies and companies and individuals dealing with alternative means of charcoal production would be involved.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK