Posted: Wednesday June 27, 2012 4:20 AM BT

The government is in the final stages of formulating a policy on natural gas, the House was told yesterday.

This was said by deputy minister for Energy and Minerals George Simbachawene when responding to a question by Amina Makilagi (Special Seats,CCM) who wanted to know when the policy on natural gas would be implemented.

The MP also wanted the government to explain how gas discoveries would benefit marginalised people living in remote areas and youth participation.

The deputy minister said the government, through ministry of Energy and Minerals, was in the last stages of preparing the policy, a Bill and a strategic plan.

“Our Ministry, in collaboration with the consultant, Research on Poverty Alleviation (Repoa), is reviewing a draft policy on natural gas,” he said.

He said the consultant had already commenced the job and was expected to complete it at the end of September, this year.

According to him, since the draft gas Bill was prepared before formulation of the gas policy, the ministry would review the draft so it doesn't contradict the new policy on natural gas.

He said the Bill would be presented to Parliament one month after completion of the policy on natural gas.

Parallel to the preparation of the policy and Bill, he said officials from his ministry and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), in collaboration with lead consultant from Trinidad and Tobago, were in the final stages of completing a draft strategic plan and use of natural gas.

“Preparations of both the natural gas Bill and policy will be completed within six months from now,” he affirmed.

Regarding the benefits, Simbachawene said the government was happy with the discoveries of natural gas made so far. It is estimated that at the moment between 35 and 47 trillion cubic feet of gas had been discovered by various companies operating in the country.

He said the government would continue to provide a conducive environment which will enable Tanzanians benefits from natural gas discovery.

He revealed that apart from power generation, natural gas has various by-products, such as fertilizers, which could help improve the Kilimo Kwanza initiative.

This article was published in The Guardian newspaper and is also available at the following link:
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