-Dar es Salaam
Uganda is exploring the possibility of obtaining gas from Tanzania to develop the iron and steel industry.
According to Uganda’s Ambassador to Tanzania, Richard Kabonero, a team of experts has since been commissioned to conduct research and present a report to relevant authorities.
“The Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Robert Kasande has put together a team to do a feasibility study for the gas pipeline from Tanzania to Uganda,” said Kabonero.
Speaking exclusively to ChimpReports in Tanzania on the eve of Uganda’s 55th Independence Anniversary celebrations, Kabonero said the gas will help convert iron ore to steel.
Tanzania has proven natural gas reserves of 57 trillion cubic feet, with at least 49.5 trillion cubic feet of those reserves far offshore in the Indian Ocean.
The East African country now plans to build an onshore liquefied natural gas export terminal at this location in Lindi.
On the other hand, Iron Ore in the form of hematite occurs in Kigezi region, Southwestern Uganda.
It also occurs in the form of magnetite in the Carbonatites Complexes of Eastern and Northeastern Uganda.
Exploration done so far by different companies reveals indicated reserves of about 260 million tons and inferred resources of about 1,000 million tons of hematite-rich iron ore in Southwest Uganda and about 100 tons of magnetite resources occur in East and Southeast Uganda.
Natural gas and heavy oil from Albertine region would process/smelt iron ore to process ore into pure iron and steel products, turning Uganda into a major regional player in the iron ore market.
Domestic demand for steel in the construction industry has been on the rise in recent years.
Uganda, which banned iron ore exports in 2012, is strategically positioned to serve over 500 million people, including COMESA and SADC.
“We have a lot of iron ore in Muko, Kabale which we need for our steel industry,” said Kabonero on Saturday at Kampala Serena Hotel.
He said Uganda will continue to work with Tanzania to develop routes on water bodies to expand bilateral trade.