Orca eyes Lake Zone market

Orca Exploration Group, Pan African’s main company, is assessing viability of using a small scale liquified natural gas (LNG) plant to provide gas to mines around Lake Victoria.

This comes at a time when mining activities in the Lake Zone have increased and several firms are in the final stages of developing gold mines.

Orca’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mr W. David Lyons said in a statement: “These are high margin opportunities that are particularly attractive.”

He said, however, the gas would be available when new allocations of additional gas could be made available for market expansion.

Last year, Orca maintained services to its existing customers but did not expand industrial sales.

“The priority was to ensure that gas was available to meet the needs of power sector at the time of crippling electricity shortages,” he said.

Meanwhile, sales of additional gas to the power sector increased by 34 per cent last year to 40.3 millions of cubic feet per day (cfd) compared to 30.0 million cfd of previous year, mainly as a result of the increase in the capacity of the gas infrastructure that enabled latent power demand to be met.

The total gas fired generation, consuming additional gas, is currently 406 MWs having increased since June 2011 with the re-commissioning of the Symbion 112 MW plant and the recent start up of the 105 MW Jacobsen plant.

“At maximum capacity the power sector can utilize 90 MMcfd of additional gas,” Mr Lyons said.

Furthermore, the company said, there are also a number of other industries and hotels that are anxious to sign gas purchase contracts, but failed to serve them until it expands the low pressure pipeline system and the capacity of the compressed natural gas (CNG) infrastructure.

To meet the ballooning demand, the company is moving forward vigorously to increase gas production from Songo Songo Island and is working closely with the government of Tanzania and other Songo Songo stakeholders.

“Orca has already taken the first steps in the 130 million US dollars (about 208bn/-) expansion programme announced last November,” Mr Lyons said “We are working hard to expand reserve base…and build greater sustainable value.”

On the revenue side it grew by 18 per cent or 45.9 million US dollars (about 73.44bn/-) in 2011 compared to 38.8 million US dollars (about 62.08bn/-) in 2010.
Source: The Daily News,reported by Abduel Elinaza
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