THE government has signed contracts of 76.9 bn/- with four contractors for the implementation of a project that will distribute electricity to the country’s peripheral areas.
So called PERI URBAN III, project is expected to distribute power to about 22,105 citizens in eight regions namely Kagera, Geita, Kigoma, Mbeya, Mtwara, Singida, Tabora and Tanga by mid-2024.
“The Peri Urban III project will supply electricity to 416 areas in the 8 regions of Mtwara, Singida, Mbeya, Geita, Tabora, Kagera, Kigoma and Tanga. It will involve the construction of electricity network of 447 kilometres for medium voltage lines, low voltage lines of 1020 kilometre long, installing 417 transformers as well as connecting 22,105 customers at a cost of 76.9bn/-,” the Minister for Energy, January Makamba said, while gracing the signing ceremony in Dar es Salaam, on Monday.
He further said that the government through the Rural Energy Agency (REA) is executing projects to supply power to the peri-urban areas, which are in great need of electricity.
Adding: “One of the key interventions in efforts to optimise the energy sector as indicated in the National Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP III) (2021 – 2026) is to strengthen the availability and reliability of power by increasing generation capacity, transmission and distribution networks.”
During the event, the minister underlined that before 2025 the government will have completed connecting power to all villages in the country.
That is in line with the ruling party CCM’s manifesto for 2020-2025 that focuses on supplying electricity to all streets and villages by the year 2025.
Available statistics indicate that rural electrification has increased from just 16.4 per cent in 2015 to 67.1 per cent as of 2020.
Moreover, Mr Makamba directed the contractors who signed the contracts to complete the project in time as indicated in their contracts, further promising not to offer tenders to any of them that would fail to implement previous ones on time.
In a separate development, the minister suspended ETDCo Company Limited from signing the contract of 18bn/-, after failing to complete the previous project in time in Mbeya region.
It was noted that the company has implemented its current project by 28 per cent instead of reaching 83 per cent.
According to the minister, ETDCo was supposed to implement the PERI URBAN III project in two regions of Geita by distributing power to 3,552 customers and in Kigoma Region reaching 2, 173 residents.
In response to the swiftness of rural electrification, the minister noted that the government expects to employ coordinators in every district before the new year to speed up the REA project management.
“By employing coordinators, we will improve the communication system and eventually facilitate access to the project information,” he pointed out.
On his part, REA Director General, Eng Hassan instructed the contractors to implement the project with acceptable standards and quality, while stressing that there would be no extension of time for any company that would fail to complete work on time.
Expounding on the background of the project, the REA Boss said that the first phase of the Peri-Urban was implemented from 2019 to 2022, where 227 areas in all the districts of the Coastal Region and Kigamboni in the Dar es Salaam region were connected to the national grid.
He further said that “the second phase of the Peri-Urban project started in 2021 and is expected to be completed in March 2023, where a total of 161 areas in Dodoma, Arusha and Mwanza regions are expected to benefit as well as connecting 15,366 preliminary customers (the first batch of applicants customers) at a cost of 31.34 bn/-