IN the past four years, the government has managed to add 480MW in the national grid, a move that has enabled the country have a surplus of 280MW.
The additional megawatts are the results of the completion of various power projects including the gas-fired Kinyerezi I and Kinyerezi II plants, the Minister of Energy Dr Medard Kalemani revealed yesterday.
The power in the national grid has also increased to 1602.34MW this year, up from 1038MW that was recorded in 2015, he added.
The minister issued the statement yesterday as he was explaining on the feats recorded by the docket over the past four years under President John Magufuli’s regime.
He said the government has also been rehabilitating electricity infrastructures including transmission lines, hence reduce the frequency of power-cut compared to the past.
“We have constructed a high voltage transmission line of 400KV on a 670km line; Iringa to Shinyanga via Dodoma and Singida, and 200KV line from Makambako - Madaba - Songea in Ruvuma region,” he said.
The next project will be the construction of the1384km long of 400KV transmission line from Mbeya-Tunduma- Sumbawanga-Mpanda through Kigoma to Nyakanazi, revealed Dr Kalemani.
Again, each region in the country has been distributed with 2.5bn/- for rehabilitation of electricity infrastructures, he said. On the other hand, the ministry has managed to connect 12 centres that were using diesel powered engines to the national grid, as a result power company, Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco) has saved a total of 138bn/- out of it.
After cancelling the power generation contract with Symbion, Aggreko and Independent Power Tanzania Limited (IPTL) Tanesco has managed to save 6.9bn/- that it was incurring monthly from the deal.
“Now, Tanesco is neither a loss making company nor dependent from the central government. The entity operates by using its own funds and for the first time it has managed to issue a dividend of 1bn/-,” he explained.
To minimize cost of connecting electricity, the government took efforts to ensure that all the essential equipment needed to install the service are manufactured in the country, stated the minister.
“The list of equipment that are now manufactured here includes Luku metres, electricity poles, cable wires, transformers. More investors are welcomed to run open accessory- making factories,” noted Dr Kalemani adding that the factories among other things create job employments for local people.
So far, about 3400 Tanzanians have been employed in the factories that produce electricity poles and by stopping to import electricity poles from South Africa, the minister said, Tanesco has also managed to save a total of 162.23bn/-.
About power supply in rural areas, the minister said a total of 8,587 villages have been connected to power project from Rural Energy Authority (REA), out of 12,000 villages in the country.
By June 2021 all villages in the country will be supplied with electricity as it was promised by President Magufuli, and that tariffs of electricity will continue to go down, reaffirmed Dr Kalemani.
He went on to explain that, it has never happened before in history to have a district that has full coverage of electricity in all villages.
“But this time the government has made it, there are 34 districts that are fully covered with power supply, same spirit will go countrywide,” he said, adding that a total of 11,070 public institutions have also connected to electricity between 2015 and 2019, up from 3,200 that were enjoying the service in the past.