In our last issue an article under this heading described the development now underway of the significant natural gas deposits at Songo Songo, Kilwa and mentioned the indignation of many people in southern Tanzania because the gas is not to be used in Kilwa but piped to Dar es salaam for conversion into electricity. The Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDF) has since placed large advertisements in the press to explain why this decision was taken. Firstly, it was said to be cheaper and safer to transport gas than electricity and none of the energy was lost en route (compared with up to 20% in the case of electricity); it was easier to hook in the gas along the route for other uses (16 villages would have their own gas-generated power stations) but this would be very expensive with high tension electric wires; power generation alone would not have been economical unless industrial use of the gas was included in the project and this could be done only in Dar es Salaam where large industries existed. The advertisements emphasised that the pipes would be made of special material that could not be easily punctured and would be laid a metre underground.
A big fertiliser plant employing 2,000 people is expected to be built at Kilwa Masoko. Gas at Mnazi Bay is to be used to provide electricity to Lindi and Mtwara.