Tanzania’s utility firm Tanesco has entered into a joint venture with a United Arab Emirates company to generate a further 2,000MW of electricity using renewable sources by 2024.
This will add to the expected 2,115MW from the ongoing Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project in southern Tanzania.
Under the agreement signed with Abu Dhabi’s Masdar in Dar es Salaam on August 5, 600MW of solar and onshore wind capacity will be developed initially, as the remaining 1400MW is uploaded in subsequent phases.
According to both Tanesco managing director Maharage Chande and Masdar’s head of business development Abdulla Zayed, the target is to bring all 2,000MW of renewable electricity on board by early 2024, which will coincide with the scheduled commissioning of the dam project on the Rufiji River.
According to Energy minister January Makamba, the deal is as a result of President Samia Suluhu ’s visit to the UAE in February.
Tanzania’s installed power generation capacity stands at around 1,600MW against a domestic demand that is expected to rise to at least 4,000MW by 2025.
Hydro, gas and other thermal plants are the main generation sources while solar and wind power currently account for just 2MW each.
The country is striving for a minimum 75 per cent electrification by 2035, up from the World Bank’s estimate of 39.9 per cent in 2020.
The $2.9 billion Julius Nyerere Hydropower Plant and Dam project, being built by two Egyptian companies, was initially scheduled to start operating in May this year, but has been officially deferred to 2024 due to what Tanesco described as “various implementation challenges”.
It has faced climate risks and construction delays caused by, among other things, frequent power cuts that led to the contractors bringing an $8.53 million compensation claim against Tanesco for allegedly failing to fulfill contractual obligations.