By Lawrence Audu
Tanzania has announced plans to increase have its current power generation capacity six times over by 2025 through investment in thermal and renewable energy, deputy energy Minister Subira Mgalu told parliament on Tuesday.
Tanzania currently has reserves of over 57 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas but faces periodic power shortages.
Like many other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, lack of reliable power has continued to hurt businesses with investors complaining.
“Implementation of various power generation projects will increase the capacity of our national power grid from 1,602 megawatts presently to 10,000 megawatts by 2025,” Mgalu told parliament.
Tanzania has said it plans to export surplus electricity to energy-starved nations in eastern and southern Africa once it has boosted its generation capacity.
“We need to have abundant and reliable power from an energy mix that includes hydropower, natural gas, solar and wind,” Mgalu said.
The government awarded a tender last year to a joint venture of Egyptian companies, El Sewedy Electric Co. and Arab Contractors, to build a 3 billion hydroelectric plant at Stiegler’s Gorge that will produce 2,100 MW upon completion in a three-year-time.
Conservationists oppose construction of the power plant in a world heritage site and an independent study has suggested the cost could rise to up to 9.85 billion dollars.