The Iringa-Shinyanga Backbone Transmission Investment Project (BTIP) is expected to be completed in September 2016, according to a recent speech by the Tanzanian Minister of Energy and Minerals, Sospeter Muhongo.
The project is funded by various sources including the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The executing agency is the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO).
The Iringa-Shinyanga power line intends to reinforce the existing 220kV transmission line from Iringa to Shinyanga by constructing approximately 700km of 400kV electrical power transmission line and associated facilities.
The Iringa-Shinyanga transmission line is divided into 3 line sections: Iringa-Dodoma (225km), Dodoma-Singida (227km), and Singida-Shinyanga (228km).
According to AfDB, strengthening of the grid is a key component of regional economic cooperation and development for future interconnections with neighboring countries.
According to JICA, the extension of substations connecting the lines will increase the quantity and reliability of power supplied from the southern regions of Tanzania to the northern regions, where the demand for power is rising.
It will also improve living standards and will stimulate economic activities including mining development.
The Chief Energy Engineer of the Tanzanian Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Mr Salum Inegeja, told local media that the completion of the project will enable Tanzania to participate actively in electricity commerce through the grid systems in the Eastern region (Eastern African Power Pool, EAPP) and the Southern region (Southern African Power Pool, SAPP).
He also added that this project is part of a larger electricity project connecting Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya.
The 2,300km Zambia-Tanzania-Kenya Interconnection Project intends to connect the Zambian grid to Kenya, via Tanzania, to facilitate power trade, reduce average energy production costs and improve reliability and security of power supply to both Southern and Eastern Africa.
For this, the governments of Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2014 to fund the project.
Expected results include facilitation of the wheeling of 400MW of electric power from Zambia to Tanzania and facilitation of wheeling at least 300MW from Tanzania to Kenya.
The ZTK line is expected to be operational in 2018, according to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).