According to a report by ThisDay, a new Electricity Act that is scheduled to go into effect by the end of this year which will open the Tanzania electricity sector for private companies, apart from the state-run Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO), to begin providing electricity and generating power in the country.
This new law will bring to an end the 40 year monopoly held by TANESCO in the national power sector.
Speaking during a recent conference in Dar es Salaam, the Minister for Energy and Minerals, William Ngeleja, called for additional private sector investment in the country’s power sector.
“The private sector is more than welcome to invest by doing it alone, or by partnering with the public sector,” he said.
Mr. Ngeleja went on to state that a Tsh 300 billion loan has been approved by the government in order to assist TANESCO in upgrading its infrastructure.
At the same time, a local affiliate of the Canadian Artumas Group Inc has announced that it is looking secure both approval and the funding for a project that is intended to add 45,000 customers to the national electricity grid within the next five years.
The Umoja Light Company, an affiliate of Artumas Tanzania, has reportedly been planning the expansion of a project to build a 300 MW power plant, which has recently been put on hold due to the global economic crisis, with the government for the last four years.
Currently, the company is waiting on the necessary licenses and approvals to be granted by the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA).
“ We are hopeful that this will happen in the near future,” said the company’s General Manager, Richard Tainton, “Over the first five years, once the project gets going, we would add a further 45,000 households [..] We would quadruple the number of customers on the grid.”
Mr. Tainton went on to explain that the company has already invested between USD 5 million and USD 10 million.
“We have a capital project of over $50m which will involve connecting the Masasi network to Mtwara grid, that will bring power towards the towns of Newala, Tandahimba, Nachingwea, Ruangwa and Ndanda,” he said.
This project by the Umoja Light Company is included in the country’s overall plan to create more electricity connections in a country.
Currently, the electricity demand in the country stands at 787 MW and is expected to rise to a little more than 900 MW by the end of the year.
According to Mr. Tainton, funding for their project will come from pledges by the Dutch government, but that they were continuing to seek additional funding from other sources seeking money elsewhere.