Ngaka Coal Mine

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Coal Mine Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

The Ngaka coal mine is operated by Tancoal Energy, a joint venture of Intra Energy Corporation, National Development Corporation of Tanzania (NDC), producing 0.5 million tonnes per annum in 2020 near Ruvuma, Tanzania.

The mine would supply coal to the proposed Ngaka power station. Currently, the mine plans to increase production to 4-5 million tonnes per annum, tripling its currently output.


The map below shows the location of the Ruvuma, Tanzania, but not the exact location of Ngaka power station.

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The Ngaka project is the largest operational coal mine in Tanzania and in East Africa and is situated in western Tanzania.[1]

The Ngaka Basin comprises the Mbalawala sub-basin in the south and the Mbuyura-Mkapa sub-basin to the north. Total proven coal resources amount to 367 million tonnes.[1][2]

The Ngaka Coal Project is operated by Tancoal Energy, which is a joint venture between the National Development Corporation of Tanzania (NDC) and Intra Energy Tanzania Limited (IETL), a 100% owned subsidiary of Intra Energy Corporation (ASX:IEC).[1]

Tancoal commenced mining operations at Ngaka in 2011. In FY 2020, sales were 523,027 tonnes, compared to 788,702 tonnes in FY 2019 (-34%). The decrease in sales was due to the effect of Covid-19 on the business of both domestic and export customers and competition from small miners. Production also decreased by 34% in FY 2020 to 496,852 tonnes, compared with 748,874 tonnes in FY 2019.

The Ngaka Coal Project is expected to produce between 2-3 million tonnes of coal for export. At an estimated maximum production rate of 4-5 million tonnes per annum, the Ngaka Coal Project has sufficient proven coal resources for over 50 years of profitable, low-cost production.[1]

Project History

In August 2011 Australia's Intra Energy Corporation (IEC) said it planned to invest US$236 million in Tanzania's first privately funded coal mine and a coal-fired power plant. At the time IEC's local unit in east Africa, Tancoal Energy, had spent US$23 million on exploration and initial development costs of the Mbalawala coal mine, in the south-west of Tanzania. Plans included a 120 MW power station at Mbalawala.[3]

In March 2012 IEC signed an MoU with Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (TANESCO) for the development of a 120 MW to 200 MW power station with the Tancoal coal mine as the coal supplier. Construction was originally planned to begin in 2014. The MoU was extended in March 2013 and changed to a 200 MW power station.[4]

In a 2013 investor presentation, Intra Energy said 200 MW of the power station was in design and sited near the Tancoal mine, and planned for operation in 2017. The company said it was in discussion with Tanzania for an additional 120 MW power station in the north of the country.[4] As of 2014 IEC describes the power station on its website as stage 2 of its Ngaka coal project. Plans include a 200 MW coal-fired power station sited adjacent to the Tancoal mine, and a second power station of 120 MW proposed near the Malcoal mine in the country of Malawi.[5]

In March 2015 the Tanzania Minister for Energy and Minerals said plans were underway to construct a 600 MW coal plant to generate electricity from Ngaka Coal in Mbinga in phases, with the first 200MW to be generated by 2019. The tender for the project was expected to be floated in June 2015, and IEC's Tancoal was invited to bid on the project.[6] In June 2015 the Energy Minister said potential investors had quoted expensive tariffs that were deemed inviable for the project. Operation is still planned for 2019.[7]

In November 2015 IEC signed an MoU with Sinohydro for a 200 MW coal plant at Ngaka. It may be increased over time to 400 MW.[8]

In October 2016 Intra Energy signed a MoU with Sinohydro to develop a 2 x 135 MW coal plant at Ngaka. The two companies will form a Special Purpose Vehicle. Under the agreement, Sinohydro is the major project shareholder of the SPV and will conceive, build, finance, and operate the plant. Tancoal Energy will provide coal, estimated at 1.2 million tonnes per year at its mine located 7 km from the plant.[9]

In August 2017, talks recommenced with SinoHydro regarding the letter from the Minister of Energy and Minerals to move ahead on the Ngaka Power Station project. It was agreed to renew the MOU and establish a joint venture vehicle once equities are established.[10]

In October 2018, Intra Energy Corporation said the company planned to submit the Request for Qualification documents for the project to the Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (TANESCO), in line with the government’s new initiative regarding the development of independent power projects.[11]

Project Details

  • Operator: Tancoal Energy[1]
  • Owner: Intra Energy Corporation, National Development Corporation of Tanzania (NDC)[1]
  • Location: Ruvuma, Tanzania
  • Coordinates: -10.646333, 35.642363 (exact)
  • Status: Operating, Proposed[1]
  • Production: 0.5 million tonnes per annum (2020)[1]
  • Additional Capacity: Proposed expansion to 4-5 million tonnes per annum[1]
  • Mine Type:
  • Mineable Reserves: 412 million tonnes with 367 million tonnes proven[12][1]
  • Start date: 2011[1]
  • Life of the mines: 50 years[1]
  • Coal Type:

Articles and resources


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Tanzania Coal, Tanzania Invest, October 19, 2020
  2. "Tanzanian Projects," Intra Energy website, accessed January 2013.
  3. "Australian firm to invest $116m in Tanzania coal," Reuters, Aug. 24, 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Mbalawala Thermal Coal Project - Intra Energy," Investor presentation, March 18, 2013.
  5. "Ngaka Thermal Coal Project" Intra Energy, accessed March 14, 2014.
  6. "Tanzania: Mbinga to Generate Electricity From Coal," All, March 15, 2015
  7. "High investor tariffs stall Ngaka electricity plant," Daily News, June 17, 2015
  8. "IEC signs MoU with Sinohydro," IEC, Nov 30, 2015
  9. "IEC, Sinohydro signs deal to develop Ngaka coal-fired power station," Daily News, 27 October 2016
  10. "Intra Energy to export coal outside of Tanzanian client base," Mining Review, August 18, 2017
  11. "IEC September 2018 update," Intra Energy, Oct 11, 2018
  12. Mining Cadastre Portal, United Republic of Tanzania, Ministry of Energy & Minerals, accessed November 2020

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