08 February 2014, Dar es Salaam – The hitherto largely ‘sleepy’ southern Tanzania port of Mtwara is now a hive of activity. It witnessed early this week the unloading of its final shipment of 4,845 pipelines from China for the 542-km Mtwara to Dar es Salaam gas project.
The Port Master, Mr Absalom Bohella, was all smiles as he briefed the Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals, Mr Charles Kitwanga, on the important role the harbour has played in implementation of the mega project.
“We have been busy since mid last year and so far we have handled more than 72,000 tonnes of the gas pipelines without any major hitches,” said Mr Bohella on Monday as the fifth ship and the last to dock at the port with the gas pipelines cargo for the project, was being offloaded.
The ship arrived last Friday – and offloading of the pipelines is expected to be completed by this weekend. By the time the offloading ends in Mtwara, a total of 46,693 pipelines covering more than 500 km would have arrived in the country.
The ship carrying the remaining 269 pipelines to complete the length of the project is scheduled to dock at the Dar es Salaam Port in the city next Monday. Mr Kitwanga said the arrival of the latest cargo further boosted the chances of the multi-billion shilling undertaking being completed ahead of schedule.
The project was earlier penciled for completion in June, next year. However, the contractors (China Petroleum Technology and Development Corporation) now hope it can be commissioned by December, this year, thanks to hard work and timely delivery of materials.
The 4,845 pipelines, to cover a length of 58.14 kilometres, were received by the deputy minister, who witnessed some of them being loaded onto trucks, which then transported them to the site.
“The arrival of the pipelines is indeed good news, which proves that the implementation of the project is continuing smoothly,” remarked the deputy minister.
He underscored the importance of the project as the country bids to attain a middle income status, hence the need for reliable power.
Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation’s (TPDC) natural gas processing plants supervisor, Mr Sultan Pwaga, assured the deputy minister that all was going according to plans.
– Tanzania Daily News