IMPLEMENTATION of the US$136 million Singida wind power project is going on well and the plant will start providing 50 megawatts of electricity to the national grid in 2015, it was said in Dar es Salaam.
Production of electricity at the plant will be gradually increased to reach 300MW annually by the year 2019, the National Development Corporation (NDC) Head of Infrastructure and Energy, Mr Pascal Malesa, told a news conference.
"The US$136 million will start commissioning 50MW in its first phase in 2015 and will continue to commission 50MW every year until 2019, when it is expected to peak at 300MW," he said.
He said the project was being implemented in Singida due to its geographical location in Rift Valley where there is abundant wind. Earlier, the NDC Corporate Affairs Manager, Mr Abel Ngapemba said the corporation plans to establish another 100MW wind energy project in Makambako in Njombe Region.
"NDC is planning a wind energy project in Makambako but we are still looking for partners," he said. Mr Ngapemba said the two projects were in line with the government's initiative of 'Big Result Now' where up to 2700MW was expected to be added in the national grid by the year 2015.
He said on the Singida project, NDC has established a joint venture company known as Geo Wind Power Tanzania Limited. The company is owned by NDC, with 60 per cent stake, TANESCO 20 per cent and a local firm, Power Pool East Africa Limited 20 per cent.
He said under the first phase of the Singida project, wind mills with the capacity of 50MW would be installed at the cost of US$136, through a loan from Exim Bank of China.
NDC has already conducted a feasibility study and environmental impact assessment on the project, he said, adding that a preliminary power purchase agreement was signed between NDC and TANESCO and affected residents were duly paid compensation.
Mr Ngapemba said completion of the Singida project which is the first of its kind will give a big push to reliable electricity supply in the country.
"The Singida project is expected to benefit 250 people through direct employment and 2,000 others indirectly when the project starts," he said. NDC indicates that the Singida project, which is located about 12km east of the Singida Municipality has secured 1,450ha of land but the area would be extended to 5,000ha.