Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Cost for Power Connectivity Set to Scale Down

Dodoma — THE Tanzania Electric Supply Corporation (Tanesco), plans to reduce the cost of making single phase connections for small-scale consumers in urban centres and villages by an average of 30 and 77 per cent. This would enable more people to install power in their homes.

This was said in the National Assembly by the Minister for Energy and Minerals, Prof. Sospeter Muhongo, when tabling the ministry's budget estimates for the 2012/13 financial year. The minister asked the House to endorse a total expenditure of 641,269,729,000/-.

Prof Muhongo told the legislators that his ministry would need 531,190,861,000/- for development expenditure and 110,078,868,000/- for recurrent expenditure. He said that the reduction would enable more households to enjoy the benefits of electrification. Rural customers on single phase, whose homes are located at distances of less than 30 metres (where poles will not be needed) will pay 177,000/-.

Their counterparts in urban centres will part with 320,960/- instead of the current price of 455,108/-. Those who live in urban centres will part with 515,618/- instead of the prevailing 1,351,884/-.

The minister further explained that in 2012/13 the government, through State Mining Corporation, would look for an investor who will revive activities at Kiwira Coal Mines. The project is designed to start generating 200 MW by 2015/16 fiscal year, according to the minister.

The project will initially produce 50 MW in 2014/15. During the same financial year a 220 KV power transmission line will be constructed from the mine to Uyole, in Mbeya Region. The project will inject cheaper electricity into the national grid.

The minister said that the project will cost the nation about 640m/-. He also told the House that this fiscal year the government will make extensive refurbishment to power generation plants at Kidatu, Kihansi, Mtera, New Pangani Falls and Nyumba ya Mungu.

This project, which will be implemented in 2012/13, will receive financial support from the Norwegian government, which will cover 32 per cent of the costs. Norway has already provided 2.43bn/- to meet the project costs.

He said that this fiscal year the State will prepare legal requirements that will culminate in the parcelling out of mineral mining areas for small-scale miners. Mining locations will be distributed at Nyakunguru, Goronga, Gibaso, and Mogabiri in Tarime District.

Distribution of mining areas will also be carried out at Kapalamsenga in Mpanda District, Ibaga and Mpambaa (Mkalama); Isenyela (Chunya); and Makanya (Same). "These mining areas have a total of about 105,163 hectares.

The area that will require mining licences covers 10,516 hectares, the minister said. The miners will get ten hectares each. Minister Muhongo said that the government will ensure that all rules and regulations governing environmental protection in mining areas are respected.

It will also ensure that human health and safety precautions are adhered to and that inspection of major mines, middle-scale mines and small-scale mines are inspected from time to time.

Mine closure plans at Geita, Tulawaka, Bulyanhulu, Buzwagi, Williamson Diamond and TanzaniteOne will be implemented in 2012/13. This move will be followed by initiation of an environmental clean-up fund.

The government will also ensure that all mines pay royalties and income taxes as required by law. Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) will continue to inspect and assess operational costs among major and middle-scale mines to ensure timely payment of taxes.

Minister Muhongo told the august House that explorations for gas and oil continue in the Indian Ocean and various parts of the country. At the moment, he said, 18 companies are busy looking for oil and gas in Tanzania.

Major international companies that are currently at work are GB Group and Ophir of Britain; Exxon Mobil of US, Dominion of Ausralia; Mubadala of the Emirates;Petrobras of Brazil, Shell of Holland and Statoil of Norway.

He said Tanzania has an estimated natural gas deposit volume of 26.99 trillion square feet which is equivalent to 4.6 billion barrels as compared to the initial estimate of 5.0 trillion square feet of gas and oil deposits at Songo Songo and Mnazi Bay.

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