Tanzania: Crdb - Local Lenders Can Fund Mega Projects

CRDB Bank has said their involvement in the implementation of mega flagship projects is a clear indication that the local lenders have the ability to support economic growth using own sources.

CRDB's CEO and Managing Director, Abdulmajid Nsekela said during the tour to the 2115 Julius Nyerere Hydro Power Project along Rufiji River that as a local bank owned largely by Tanzanians and Treasury, feel good to be associated with this mega project which is a strategic project by the government.

"We are happy that this project is making good progress and according to engineers is on schedule which means Tanzanians should expect reliable supply of electricity by next June," he added while stressing that the bank is also supporting strategic state projects including Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and rural electrification.

The over 6.1tri/- mega project which is the fourth largest in Africa has seen banking experts from CRDB team up with engineers from Tanesco and TanRoads to provide financing, supervision and consultancy where formerly only foreign consortiums would have prevailed.

Mr Nsekela who accompanied the bank's board members led by Chairman, Dr Ally Laay, said CRDB is happy with the government and Tanesco's confidence in the bank which has enabled the Dar es Salaam based lender provide a guarantee of over 1.tri/- to a joint venture of Arab Contractors and Elsewedy Electric of Egypt.

"This is the first flagship project the bank is involved in financing and we are partnering with United Bank for Africa (UBA) where CRDB is a lead arranger," Mr Nsekela said adding as the Moody's rated B1 positive outlook rated bank has the muscles to provide financing for any strategic state mega projects.

"As a bank, we will continue support efforts being made by the government to improve the lives of our people through encouraging private investments which create jobs and increase state revenue," the CEO said.

The project's Resident Engineer, Engineer John Mageni and Tanesco acting Managing Director, Engineer Pakaye Daniel paid tribute to CRDB for supporting the project saying the financing has meant that all construction and supply works are on schedule.

Eng Mageni who is Tanzania Engineering Consulting Unit (TECU) head of consulting engineers supervising the project said because of stable financing by CRDB, come June next year the nine turbines at the JNHPP will roar into life adding a staggering 2115MW into the national grid, which CRDB Chairman, Dr Ally Laay, wondered if the local market will absorb.

"I must thank the government for having confidence in us and decided to appoint Tanesco as supervisors," said Eng Pakaye who promised Tanzanians that better days are coming when power tariffs will likely go down.

Eng Mageni said the joint venture of Arab Contractors and Elsewedy Electric is working hard to beat the next June deadline saying there are neither logistical nor financial challenges to delay completion.

"We are confident that come next June the first unit of power generated will go into the national grid," Eng Mageni assured local consumers saying the world class mega project will completely changes lives in the country.

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