Natural Gas Bill, Master Plan in offing

Songas gas tanks in Dar es Salaam
The government is expected to table a Natural Gas Bill in the National Assembly during its next session in April, the National Assembly was told on Wednesday.

Winding up a debate on government report on implementation of National Assembly resolutions on natural gas sub-sector, the Minister for Energy and Minerals, Mr William Ngeleja,  also said that a Natural Gas Revenue Management Bill is in the pipeline.

“In addition to the above, we are planning to have a Natural Gas Master Plan before the end of this year. All these efforts aim at ensuring that the country benefits from the natural resource,” Mr Ngeleja said on Tuesday evening here. 

The Minister also hinted that plans were afoot to review Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) entered between the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) and companies prospecting oil and natural gas.

“In a bid to have full control of the natural gas, we will establish a company to transport natural gas that will be public owned,” the minister said, adding:

“Apart from the current general policy on the energy sector, the government will also formulate a specific policy on natural gas sub-sector that will guide exploration, production and transportation of the energy.”

He told the House that the government was committed to ensure the country benefited from the natural resource by putting interests of the nation ahead of investors’ interests.

Mr Murtaza Mangungu (Kilwa North-CCM) complained that even as natural gas supplied to Dar es Salaam is produced in his constituency, the people of Kilwa have not benefited from the natural resource.

Mr Hamad Rashid Mohamed (Wawi-CUF), proposed that TPDC retain 100 per cent of all revenues obtained in the sector unlike now where it collects only 50 per cent.

He also called for involvement of academicians in institutions of higher learning in drafting of crucial contracts to avoid pacts bent to serve the interests of investors at the expense of Tanzanians.
Source: The Daily News,www.dailynews.co.tz, reported by Alvar  Mwakyusa in Dodoma
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