... contractors receive about 700bn/- as advance disbursement
EGYPTIAN contractors on the ambitious Rufiji hydropower project yesterday received the 688.7bn/- advance payment, a decisive step towards the beginning of construction works.
The government sealed the project deal with the Arab Contractors and El Sewedy Electric last December, expecting to generate 2,115 megawatts upon the scheme completion.
The 100 per cent government funded hydropower project on the Rufiji River in the Selous Game Reserve will cost 2.9 billion US dollars (about 6.6tri/-).
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy Dr Hamisi Mwinyimvua said last week CRDB and UBA banks issued advance payment and performance guarantees to the contractor, the joint venture of Arab contractors and Elsewedy Electric as per project's contract requirements.
"The issued guarantees triggered the next milestone of the project, including settlement of the advance payment today (yesterday)," Dr Mwinyimvua said. He assured the contractor that the government has allocated funds to foot all costs related to the project implementation, including advance payments.
"The issuance of the advance payment marks a crucial move towards commencement of the project implementation... and upon completion, the power plant will play an essential role towards the country's industrialisation drive," he said.
The contractors' representative, Mr Mohamed Hassan expressed gratitude and appreciation to the government and Tanzanians for their full support to the Arab contractors and Elsewedy Electric.
Mr Hassan who doubles as Deputy Project Director said, "I hope we will deliver to your best expectations...we will implement the project at the highest level of quality, safety and within the specified time frame."
He said through the government cooperation, the contractors will enable the country to prosper and develop as Tanzanians envisage.
Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) Board Chairman Alexander Kyaruzi commended the government, through the ministry of energy, for empowering the power utility firm to execute the mega power project.
Handing over the power construction site in Rufiji District, Coast region, in February, this year, Energy Minister Dr Medard Kalemani said the government was eagerly waiting for the ambitious project that is perceived as a panacea to power problems in the country.
Dr Kalemani reminded the Egyptian contractors to observe the agreed standards that will enable the project to last longer and bring positive changes to the national economy through adequate power supply.