THE government will start construction of a geothermal energy power plant in Lake Ngozi, Mbeya Region in 2021, the Tanzania Geothermal Development Company (TGDC) has said.
Speaking during a recent workshop for Parliamentary Committee on Energy and Minerals members, the company's General Manager, Mr Kato Kabaka, said the government had already dished out 20.714bn/- for the purchase of drilling machine at the project site.
"Presently, the government is finalising the process to amend the law which will facilitate management of geothermal development in the country," said the TGDC's general manager while making a presentation to the workshop.
Mr Kabaka explained that the government plans to implement construction projects of seven geothermal energy power plants between 2021 and 2025, saying the geothermal energy would provide the country with yet another opportunity to facilitate implementation of the industrial economy.
He said the projects will be carried out in Songwe, Luhoi in Lower Rufiji River, Kiejo-Mbaka, Lake Natron and Lake Ngozi in Mbeya Region, saying upon completion, the plants would generate 200 megawatts.
Mr Kabaka pointed out exploration costs as major challenges for implementation of the project and that the government continues to seek sources of funds in order to finance the task.
"The government covers a large part of the costs in the project implementation. For instance, the government has dished out 20.714bn/- for the purchase of drilling machine at Ngozi project site," he said.
Mr Kabaka said implementation of Lake Ngozi geothermal energy power plant construction was currently at drilling levels, saying three geothermal wells for the pilot project will be complete within 23 months.
"Lake Ngozi geothermal energy power plant will be able to generate 30 megawatt which will be pumped into the national grid," he said.
Mr Kabaka noted that the government was also funding training for local geothermal experts and that so far, 36 experts had received a short training course in geothermal aspects.
Tanzania is endowed with potential areas for generating 5,000 megawatts from geothermal energy power.