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The Chanzo Morning Briefing – June 23, 2023. 

In our briefing today: China’s CNOOC plans offshore oil, gas exploration in Tanzania; US-based energy company Astra Energy Inc. inks deal with TANESCO to develop a 350-megawatt combined cycle power plant; Towards improved economic ties between Tanzania and Indonesia?

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Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Thursday, June 22, 2023.

China’s CNOOC plans offshore oil, gas exploration in Tanzania

China’s CNOOC Ltd. is planning offshore oil and gas exploration with state-owned Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) as the East African nation seeks to boost the development of its natural resources, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

The joint exploration work will be conducted in deep-sea blocks 4/1B and 4/1C held by TPDC, Energy Minister January Makamba told Bloomberg.

The acreage is located near large gas fields discovered by a consortium of international energy companies led by Equinor ASA, Shell Plc and ExxonMobil Corp. that plan to build a $42 billion liquefied natural gas terminal.

“There is also an agreement in the works” between Tanzania and CNOOC to do seismic studies in unassigned blocks before a licensing round next year, Makamba said by phone from China on Wednesday after talks with senior officials at CNOOC, Bloomberg reported.

To attract more investors, Tanzania wants to launch an oil and gas licensing round in the first quarter of 2024.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan revived negotiations with oil majors for the onshore LNG terminal and has introduced economic reforms. Talks wrapped up in May, paving the way for agreements to be signed for the project.

US-based energy company Astra Energy Inc. inks deal with TANESCO to develop a 350-megawatt combined cycle power plant

A US-based energy company Astra Energy Inc. announced Thursday that its subsidiary Astra Energy Tanzania Limited, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) to develop a 350-megawatt combined cycle power plant in mainland Tanzania.

The MoU was signed on June 19, 2023, during a meeting between officials from Astra Energy Inc., including Tony Thompson, the company’s VP of Electrical Power Generation and Dan Claycamp, CEO of Astra Holcomb Energy Systems and Mr Athanasius Nangali, Deputy Managing Director, Distribution for TANESCO.

“[Tanzania’s] plan to allow more penetration by independent power producers like Astra into the Tanzanian power market indicates their forward-thinking approach that supports the Tanzania Development Vision 2025,” a press release quoted Thompson as saying.

“The MoU authorises Astra to advance to complete a full bankable feasibility study and then enter into negotiations for a long-term power purchase agreement,” he added.

On Tuesday, Astra announced that it had completed its feasibility study to secure 207 acres of land on a 33-year renewable lease with the government of Zanzibar for the Zanzibar Clean and Renewable Energy Park project (ZCREP).

Astra intends to own and operate the project as an independent power producer, selling the power to the Zanzibar Electricity Corporation (ZECO), Zanzibar’s state-owned utility, via a long-term power purchase agreement.

In a press release on Thursday, the company said that as with the 50 MW Clean and Renewable Energy Park Project at Kibele Landfill in Zanzibar, Astra intends to own and operate the 350 MW project as an independent power producer, selling the power to TANESCO.

The company said that the combined projects could generate significant recurring revenues for many years, with a projected gross revenue stream of an estimated US$180 to US$200 million annually over a minimum of 25 years.

Towards improved economic ties between Tanzania and Indonesia?

Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Dr Stergomena Tax on Thursday inaugurated Tanzania’s High Commission in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, with both countries hoping that the move would improve the multilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Before Thursday, Tanzania’s engagements with Indonesia occurred from the former’s embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Agriculture is the main area of cooperation between the two countries, signified by the Indonesia-Tanzania Joint Agriculture Cooperation Committee (JACC).

The commission serves as a vehicle to improve agricultural sector cooperations, such as capacity building through training, joint research, and expanding market access to agricultural products.

​​Indonesia also established Farmer’s Agriculture and Rural Training Centre (FARTC) in Morogoro in 1996, where Indonesian agriculture experts train Tanzanian farmers.

According to the information on its website, the Indonesian High Commission in Tanzania is not happy with the current level of economic trade between the two countries, which it thinks does not reflect its true potential.

For example, it points out that the total bilateral trade volume is still considerably small and mostly conducted through third parties.

Indonesia’s main export commodities to Tanzania are garments, soap, instant noodles, stationery, furniture and apparel, while Indonesia imports cotton, peanut, fruits and other agricultural products from Tanzania.

During the inauguration ceremony, Dr Tax said opening the embassy in Indonesia would strengthen the relationship, especially in the economic sector.

“Indonesia has made progress in the economy sector, its cooperation with Tanzania will provide an opportunity for the country to progress as well and ensure that agricultural products and minerals are added value and sold in international markets and enable the country to grow its economy,” the government-owned Daily News newspaper quoted her saying.

Tax also acknowledged the supportive role played by the Indonesian government to the embassy since it was established in 2022.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, who graced the inauguration ceremony, said the two countries share a long and strong partnership established by Julius Nyerere and President Sukarno since the Bandung meeting held in 1955.

“For all this time, the countries have been working together and closely in different areas,” the paper quoted Marsudi saying. “Today, I feel honoured for Tanzania to officially open its embassy here in Jakarta. This signifies further strengthening of the diplomatic ties between Indonesia and Tanzania.”

This is it for today, and we hope you enjoyed our briefing. Please consider subscribing to our newsletter (see below) or following us on Twitter (here), as that is the best way to ensure you do not miss any of these briefings.  And in case you have any questions or comments, please drop a word to our editors at

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