Mega 4.42tri/- project to end power cuts

THE government has pledged to continue addressing the problem of frequent power cuts in various parts of the country through execution of the 4.42tri/- National Grid Stabilisation Project.

Minister for Energy Mr January Makamba informed the National Assembly here on Thursday that the project started to be implemented in 2022/2023 financial year, where a total of 500bn/- was allocated for preliminary works.

The minister was winding up debate for his docket’s 2023/2024 budget estimates in which 3.048tri/- for recurrent and development expenditure was later endorsed by Members of Parliament.

He said that the government has also set aside 400bn/- in the 2023/2024 financial year for implementation of the second phase of the project.

Makamba said that the entire project will be implemented in a period of four years, noting that the first phase included a total of 26 small projects aimed at strengthening power infrastructure in various regions in the country.

The minister said the works included installation of modern machines and equipment, construction of transmission and distribution lines as well as substations.

He noted that until April this year the government had successfully conducted a feasibility study of the project, secured contractors for execution of the project, procured equipment and kicked off the first phase implementation of the project.

“Upon completion, the project will provide a permanent solution to frequent power cuts in various parts of the country and the problem of low voltage,” he said.

He further explained that the root cause of the current frequent power cuts can be traced back during the 1990s when the government embarked on privatisation of public institutions.

The minister said that Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (TANESCO) was among the corporations which were lined up for privatisation.

Makamba said when TANESCO was waiting to be privatized it was put under specified corporations thus it ceased production and there was neither infrastructure maintenance nor development for about ten years.

He noted that by the time when the government changed its decision the country’s economy had grown as well as population and many investors were also coming to invest in the country.

“The suspension of power production and other TANESCO operations in previous years have resulted in frequent power cuts being experienced today in the country,” Makamba said.

The minister detailed that technically, power transmission and distribution should use separate lines.

He said in the past, power was transported through distribution lines because they are cheaper than transmission lines, adding that it was also done so in order to reach many areas with the service.

“This has also caused frequent power cuts and low voltage being experienced in many areas in the country,” Makamba said.

Mr Makamba, however, said that the government is aware of the effects of frequent power cuts calling upon the public to continue having trust in their government as it continues to address the problem.

The minister added that, in order to ensure reliable power supply there should also be enough substations.

He said that plans were also underway to construct substations in every district.

“We have only 46 substations in the country, which are not enough to ensure reliable power supply.

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