TANESCO Seeks Support for Tanzania Energy Improvements

The Tanzania energy sector has taken a hit with the recent failure of the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) to meet the growing needs of the country, however, plans are being made for the improvement of the sector through the construction of a new plants as well as new long-term planning.

TANESCO has announced that it will need over 1.5 trillion shillings in order to meet the increasing demand for power and then to execute an expansion plan for the generation, transmission and distribution of power over the next five years.

Currently, the company is working with the government in order to search for and acquire the financing that is required in order to make the necessary repairs to the Tanzania energy sector.

TANESCO is looking to avoid using the power generating systems that were installed by Dowans, an independent firm that had been a primary supplier to TANESCO, and is currently looking for other short-term suppliers and new hydropower plants to use in the interim, while they work out their final plans.

In the meantime, TANESCO Managing Director, Dr. Idris Rashid, says that if the electricity generation system continues under Dowans, the country should expect a longer period of shortages, lasting until and beyond 2012.

According to Dr. Idris Rashid, the original shortage was caused primarily because of the failure of three units at Songas.

TANESCO is currently working with potential stakeholders to develop a 250 MW gas-fired energy generating plant in Kinyerezi, Dar es Salaam to be ready no later than 2012.

In addition, a 200 MW power plant is currently being constructed by Kiwira Coal and Power Limited in Kiwira and is expected to be operational by 2010.

The current power grid system consists of a mixture of hydro-thermal generation.
However, recently the contribution of hydro power has fallen to around 65%.

Since the original shortage, the energy demand in the country has grown by approximately 6% to 13 GWh/day, as opposed to 12 GWh/day a year ago.

The peak demand for energy has also grown by about 6%, from 653 MW last year to approximately 700 MW this year.

The forecast for the Tanzania energy sector is for the demand to continue to increase at a rate of approximately 8 to 10% per year.