"Songas is a tribute to the commitment of people who had the vision of gas-fired generation in Tanzania and took ownership to achieve that vision. There were so many reasons for this never to happen, but people believed enough and made the vision a reality."

—Paul Kunert, Chairman of the Board, Songas

Challenge:

Provide cost-effective energy and reliable performance in a remote location with a challenging grid.

Solution:

Aeroderivative gas turbines with fast ramp rates, water efficiency, and load-following capabilities.

Tanzania has long depended on the region's water resources to produce hydroelectric power, but ongoing drought conditions have forced the country to rely on other power generation resources, specifically Songas' ability to generate 180 MW of electricity using natural gas resources from Songo Songo Island's gas fields.

In 2004, the Songas gas processing, pipeline and Ubungo power station were commissioned. Songas and GE installed four LM6000 Aeroderivative Gas Turbines to help power the country. Despite the distance from major suppliers and engineering facilities, Songas has achieved one of the highest availability rates in all of Africa — historically always above 95 percent and 96.6 percent in 2012.

The added benefit of these particular units is that they do not require water for operation, making them an environmentally friendly alternative energy source. The severe drought experienced in 2006 reduced hydro-based generation by 88 percent. In 2011, another drought reduced hydroelectric generation by 66 percent. Coupled with an existing energy gap of 33 percent, even if all hydro sources were operational, Tanzania faces severe capacity shortages as demand continues to increase. With this diversion away from hydroelectric power, the importance of Songas’ natural gas-driven turbines in Tanzania has become much more critical. In fact, Songas now provides nearly a quarter of all of Tanzania’s electricity.