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Artumas voit une centrale 300mw en Tanzanie pour 2012

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Artumas says sees 300 MW power for Tanzania by 2012
Mon Oct 6, 2008 5:49pm BST Email | Print | Share| Single Page[-] Text [+]
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DAR ES SALAAM, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Canada's Artumas Group Inc (AGI) (AGIC.OL) expects a 300 megawatts (MW) natural gas-powered project it is working on in southern Tanzania to be operational in 2012, a senior company executive said on Monday.

Artumas, along with the Tanzanian government, is currently looking at a feasibility study into the scheme, and the building of more than 500 km of high voltage lines from Mtwara.

"On the 300 MW project ... we have completed the first stage feasibility work, but we are looking at approximately four years of project development, so hopefully, as we move towards 2012, we will be up," Steve Mason, Artumas chief executive, told Reuters in an interview.

The Oslo, Norway-listed oil and gas firm discovered a gas deposit in Mnazi Bay in Mtwara in southeastern Tanzania which the Tanzanian government says has about 2 trillion cubic feet of proven gas deposit, or gas in place. Artumas says it estimates the gas potential at 3 trillion cubic feet.

The company is already using some of that gas to generate some 5 MW out of a 12 MW plant in Mtwara. The plant can be expanded to reach 18 MW and Artumas wants to do so next year.

"All the civil works and transformer work and all the switchgear is in place. So it's a matter of moving the engines in," Mason said on the sidelines of a meeting of business executives and Tanzanian government officials.

He added that Artumas was in talks to arrange for a franchise to distribute the power to other areas outside Mtwara.

Mason said that to date Artumas had invested $200 million in their business in Tanzania. The company is also seeking investors in setting up gas-powered projects in Mtwara in areas like cashew nut processing.

Tanzania, reputed for its relative stability in a volatile region, has so far discovered natural gas in three other areas. Another deposit -- Songo Songo island off the eastern coast -- is also in commercial production.

In September the firm received approval from the government to export compressed natural gas to neighbouring Kenya.

Artumas is also exploring in neighbouring Mozambique's Rovuma Basin, where it is carrying out 2D and 3D seismic imaging and plans to start exploration drilling by mid-2009. (Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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