TANESCO adds 197 MW to grid

TANZANIA: STEPS being undertaken by the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (TANESCO) to address power outages in the country have started yielding positive results as the power utility firm has managed to add 197 Megawatts to the national grid in two months.

The measures taken include major power infrastructure maintenance and improvement, increasing production capacity of the natural gas production wells that in turned have increased power production at power generation plants and rise in water levels at Hale, Pangani and Nyumba ya Mungu hydro-power stations.

TANESCO Managing Director, Engineer Gissima Nyamo-Hanga said that the increase in megawatts was recorded in a period between end of September and November this year.

In September this year, President Samia Suluhu Hassan gave TANESCO Managing Director six months to address issues related to power cuts.

“I am only giving you six months… strictly six months, after that time, I would not want to hear any scapegoats relating to power cuts,” the Head of State was quoted as saying when giving her ultimatum to the power utility boss in September this year at the State House during the swearing in function, pledging to accord full support to the new Tanesco leader.

Eng Nyamo-Hanga told journalists yesterday that of the 410MW shortage, they are now remaining with a shortage of 213MW which he said will be attained by March next year as per President Dr Samia’s directive.

Engineer Nyamo-Hanga said the hydro-power sources in Kidatu, Mtera and Kihasi dams are still impacted with dry spells as the ongoing rains in the Coastal and Lake regions have not brought significant changes in water levels as the rain water does not flow to their water sources.

However, he said there was a sigh of relief as signs of rains were visible in Dodoma, Iringa, Mbeya, Singida and Tabora regions from which rivers that feed Kihansi, Kidatu and Mtera hydro power plants  originate.

He elaborated that the ongoing rains in Dar es Salaam, Coast, Tanga, Mwanza, Mara, Simiyu, Shinyanga, Geita and Kagera, have no impact in increasing water levels at Kihansi, Mtera and Kidatu hydropower sources.

According to the power utility boss, the ongoing heavy rains in the Coastal and Lake Zone regions have also affected power infrastructures in some areas, causing some citizens to go without electricity.

Eng Nyamo-Hanga said the rains have also affected some road Infrastructures, making it difficult for the service and maintenance teams to reach the areas with power challenges on time.

He said the power shortage was caused by a combination of factors including dry spells which drastically reduced water levels at various dams, attributing the situation to the impact of climate change.

Other reasons, he said, was a sharp increase in demand for power due to proliferation of economic activities, worn out  power infrastructures and the ongoing maintenance at various natural gas fields and plants.

According to him, other measures being taken to address power shortage include carrying out maintenance on machines and establishing new substations countrywide.

He said the power supply company is determined to complete the implementation of Julius Nyerere Hydroelectric Power (JNHPP) Project which will have the capacity of generating 2,115 megawatts. The project is at 94 per cent to completion.

He assured of reliable power supply following ongoing maintenance of the power infrastructures, substations, exploration and addition of new power sources as well as increasing capacity of the natural gas wells and natural gas power plants.

ENDS/Rodgers/Winfrida

 

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