GE Ramps up Africa Natural Gas Investments

Just one day after General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) unveiled its new Distributed Power business for Africa, as well as plans for diesel-generated electricity in Nigeria, the company announced new natural gas generator orders from Tanzania and Mozambique.

In Tanzania, General Electric will provide four new gas turbines to boost the country's total power capacity by a whopping 15%. The turbines will add 150 megawatts to Tanzania's current energy portfolio, a move that local contractor Jacobsen Elektro AS believes is a win-win situation for all involved.

"This project will help Tanzania reduce its dependence on expensive rental units and strengthen the reliability of its power supply," said Ole Kristian Ødegård, managing director of Jacobsen Elektro AS, in today's press release. "As the EPC [Engineering, Procurement and Construction] contractor for this power plant, we are responsible for the complete turnkey project and choosing the best solution for Tanesco's needs. GE's flexibility and reliable technology were key reasons we chose them for this important project."

The turbines will be hosted at a new power plant facility, which is expected to come online in late 2014 or early 2015. When it does, GE units will lay claim to more than 30% of Tanzania's total electricity generation.

Farther south in Mozambique, local energy company Kuvaninga Energia has ordered up 10 natural gas engines for a new 40 megawatt power plant.

While natural gas might not be an ideal fit for every African country, Mozambique is home to the continent's second largest natural gas reserves. According to the release, those reserves are "being developed at an increasing rate by various multinational oil and gas companies."

"The Kuvaninga Energia project with [GE distributor] Clarke Energy illustrates the growing demand for distributed power technologies that support the local energy security, economic development and health care needs of developing countries in Africa and throughout the world," said Lorraine Bolsinger, president and chief executive officer of GE's Distributed Power business.

If all goes according to plans, the 10 engines should reach Mozambique by Q3 2014.

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