DAR ES SALAAM, July 6 (Reuters) - Tanzania will this month put into trial operation a natural gas pipeline connecting offshore reserves south of the country to its commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
The government said the commissioning of the pipeline would boost power generation and supply gas to factories and homes.
The 532 km (330 mile) pipeline and gas processing plants, financed by a $1.23 billion Chinese loan, were initially expected to be completed last year but faced technical glitches.
State-run Tanzania Petroleum Development Corp (TPDC) said in a statement that “gas processing plants and the natural gas pipeline will be ready for trial operation on July 29.”
It said the trial would last between 40 and 60 days. Once operational, initial production would start at 80 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) in September, later rising to 130 million mmscfd.
Tanzania estimates it has more than 55 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of recoverable natural gas reserves off its south coast.
Discoveries offshore Tanzania and Mozambique have led to predictions the region could become the world’s third-largest exporter of natural gas. (Reporting by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by David Holmes)