Construction of a US$ 30 billion gas processing plant in Tanzania has been given the green light by the government.

According to Minister for Energy and Minerals, Professor Sospeter Muhongo, the 40-month-long project will include the construction of some 200 km of gas pipes, bringing the gas inland from the country’s offshore wells.

Construction of the gas plant in Lindi, on the southern coast, will be undertaken by the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), with funding reportedly coming via a concessional loan from the Exim Bank of China.

A consortium of oil companies will also be involved in the project, including BG Group, Statoil, Ophir Energy and Exxon Mobil.

Recent research has found that the offshore natural gas reserves of Tanzania total some 1.6 trillion m3, raising it to 22nd in the world rankings.

The Tanzanian economy has already witnessed tremendous growth since the discovery of natural gas, with it currently being responsible for around 70% of the country’s total power generation.

At a public meeting, Professor Muhongo told residents of Lindi they should “be ready to exploit opportunities” in what he called an “economic revolution”.

He added, “I can tell you that in the few coming years, Lindi and Mtwara will be the country’s economic hub. All investors are eyeing Lindi and Mtwara because of gas and other resources.”

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