TZ set to benefit from power interconnection project

TANZANIA: TANZANIA is poised to benefit from the Kenya and Tanzania Power Interconnection Project (KTPIP), which is 99 per cent complete.

The 258 million US dollars project, which is being implemented by the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco), in the Lemugur area of Arusha, involves the construction of a 400-kilovolt power line.

The project, which began in January 2016 and is scheduled to be completed in December this year, stretches from Singida Region to Babati in Manyara Region to Lemugur in Arusha to the Republic of Kenya.

The 510-kilometre power line, of which 414 kilometres are in Tanzania and 96 kilometres are in Kenya, can transmit up to 2,000 megawatts of electricity.

The project is being funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) on the Tanzanian side.

TANESCO Manager for Electricity Generation and Interconnection Projects, Timothy Mgaya  stated that testing and verification of the installed equipment is presently underway during a briefing for visiting journalists and officials from the Japanese Embassy and JICA.

“Tanzania will be able to buy power from nearby nations like Ethiopia, which is already connected to Kenya, once the project is finished, to deal with any potential shortages,” he said.

Adding: “When there is a surplus, the nation can also sell electricity to other connected nations.”

Mgaya expects the power line to be energised next month after the testing and verification exercise is completed.

He further said that in addition to connecting the country to the East African power pool, the project also connects Tanzania to the Southern African power network.

“Whenever Southern African countries purchase electricity from Ethiopia, it will be transmitted through our infrastructure. They will be required to pay fees for using Tanzania’s network, generating revenue for the country,” he stressed.

The project will also improve power distribution in Arusha, Kilimanjaro, and Tanga regions through the use of the Njiro power substation.

Electricity will first be entered into the Legumur substation, where the 400 kilovolts will be converted to 220 kilovolts.

Speaking on behalf of the Japanese ambassador to Tanzania, the embassy’s second secretary, Tabuchi Tomoyoshi, said that Japan has been helping to accomplish initiatives related to the energy sector that are very important to Tanzania.

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