Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

28 November 2012

Tanzania: Massive Electricity Projects On Horizon

FEASIBILITY studies for two major power projects are almost complete with a Brazilian firm, Stiegler's Gorge, expecting to submit its 2,100 MW project report to the government before the end of this year.

The Rufiji River Basin Development Authority (RUBADA) Managing Director, Mr Aloyce Masanja, told the 'Daily News' that the company was making the final touches of the study which shows that it will be able to produce the first 300MW by 2015.

He mentioned another company as Queiroz Galvao Construction Company, also from Brazil, whose report for Mnyera Hydropower Project has already been handed over to his authority since last September.

"The Engineering Department of the University of Dar es Salaam will give its technical opinion on the report and I expect by next week (this week) it will be on my table," he said.

He said that early studies by the company show that Mnyera project has a potential of producing 1,000 MW up from the 485 MW estimated before and that the RUBADA Board was expected to give its authorization for the project to officially kick off.

According to Mr Masanja, the company has a strong financial commitment of 1bn US dollars (about 1.5tril/-) that has been set aside through the Brazil-Africa Fund for the project.

He mentioned the other project as Mpanga Hydro Power Project, adding that a contractor -- SINO Hydro Power Company from China -- is ready to undertake construction work.

"The company's chief representative in East Africa, Mr Shi Yong, has confirmed that all is ready for the project to start and that 550bn/- from the Chinese Exim Bank is ready for the job," he said.

Meanwhile, the Lower Rufiji Comprehensive Agricultural Project is set to take off with a number of priority components like the establishment of a youth camp expected to host more than 200 young graduates.

According to Mr Masanja, the camp will be inaugurated in March, next year, with about 700 hectares of land being earmarked for agricultural projects where the youths will be given portions of land.

An arrangement has been established to empower the youths with agriculture projects and modern farming demonstrations. The initiative involves youths graduating from various agriculture institutions.

However, Mr Masanja was bitter with the fact that the project got delayed due to unnecessary bureaucracies and political bickering while basic infrastructure like houses to accommodate them are almost ready.

"Ten houses have been built and two new tractors procured. The youths with start with paddy cultivation and there will be demonstrations of modern farming," he said.

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