Why TANESCO rations power

TANZANIA Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) has attributed ongoing power rationing in various parts of the country to factors including drought and power distribution infrastructure.

“Basically these are the reasons which have led  the power utility  company  failing to serve  its customers  to the  expected level,  thus raising complaints through various  platforms  such as social media,” TANESCO  Director General Maharage Chande, told journalists in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday.

He cited the challenge of power distribution infrastructure facing Kihansi Hydroelectric Power Station, which produces up to 180MW when full of water, but currently produces an average of between 17 megawatts (MW) and 30 megawatts (MW) due to decline in water level.

The DG said besides Kihansi, Pangani Hydroelectric Station which generates 68 megawatts has been switched off leaving Mtera Power Station which produces 80 megawatts to take off with 75 megawatts.

He noted that, electricity deficit in the country per day   is between 300 and 350 megawatts which has necessitated the current power rationing.

However, Mr Chande, noted that the situation is expected to improve mid next month following various measures being undertaken to rectify the situation.

“Power generation is expected to increase to 220MW in mid December this year, a situation that will provide relief to the ongoing power rationing,” the DG said.

Mr Chande further said the power utility firm is currently undertaking long and short term measures to overcome the situation, citing some as improving power generating machines at Ubungo III Power Plant that is expected to add 20 megawatts to the national grid in the next two days and other 20MW in early December.

The DG further said that Kidatu Hydropower plant with capacity of generating 50MW is expected to start supplying power next week and also add to the national grid.

He added that Kinyerezi I Power Station is also expected to add 90MW by end of this month, thus making a total of 220MW, which will be added to the system by mid December this year.

The DG further noted that, the situation will further improve come January next year where another 90MW will be added to the national grid.

On long term plan, he said that the completion of a 2,100 megawatts at Julius Nyerere Hydroelectric Power  project will provide  lasting solution to power problem in the country, because the scheme is designed in a way  that it will store enough water  for power generation even during dry seasons.

In a related development, he appealed to the public to use the national power utility company website, offices and social platforms to access various information on power rationing and others.

According to Mr Chande, Tanzania produces 1,700 megawatts, of which 75 percent  is generated from natural gas sources and the remaining 25 per cent is from water, fuel and other renewable sources.

When producing power at full capacity, the country  remains with  200 megawatts  in excess.



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